Nov 9, 2013 12:00am PST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight, a conversation with graham nash and two-time rock 'n .oll hall of fame inductee of theicipated in some most legendary excesses and has now written about those callednces in a new book "wild tales." we are glad you have joined us. a conversation with graham nash coming up right now. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. cofounder of crosby stills and nash, graham nash has been at the forefront of rock music. he has written a few more experiences, good and bad. quick reminder of how great those harmonies are. singinga clip of them "wooden ships." ♪ ♪ tavis: i guess one would expect a book written by a rock 'n roll star to have the obligatory chapters about sex and drugs. to be sure, that exists in the book. i expect in conversations that get to that.y will i will leave it to the other show host to dig that up. i don't know if we have the front and the back cover. contemporary graham nash. there is a fascinating and heartbreaking story in this book about how you got introduce
Nov 6, 2013 12:00am PST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight a conversation with grammy award-winning singer al jarreau. he has used his exceptional ground. find common we are glad you joined us. a conversation with al jarreau coming up. ♪ >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. hiss: al jarreau earned first grammy. he stays on to her. -- on tour. you are never in town long enough for a conversation. debuted, al jarreau was our guest on the first night. it is all because of you that i am here. have nothing to going on. i just love talking to you. >> i just mentioned tavis is a friend of al jarreau. tavis: i want to hear some al jarreau. let's take a clip of al jarreau on to her. -- on tour. ♪ [portuguese singing] i still don't know if have it, but you've still got it. >> you definitely have it. you, tavissaying to for president. wish it uponif i you these days. trying to shut the government down, i don't want no part in that. you are always on the road. you are always in some strange part of the world. you're not tired of all this trav
Nov 29, 2013 12:00am PST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. as we settle in on what i hope is a great holiday, a performance from grammy nominated singer-songwriter jonathan butler, raised in cape town, south africa during the worst of apartheid. butler challenged the decision -- the vicious return -- regime with his music. we are glad you have joined us. a conversation and performance from jonathan butler coming up tonight. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. grammy nominee jonathan butler has always used music to bring people together, performing first in his native south africa during the height of apartheid, and a move to the u.k. began his international career. his last cd is called "merry you."mas to i'm pleased to say in just a few minutes, i will stop talking. he is going to perform not one, but two songs from the new project, "oh, holy night" and "little drummer boy." always an honor to have you on the set. >> always good to see you. tavis: have you been to south africa lately? >> tavis, i have been home so much. it has been incredibl
Nov 22, 2013 12:00am PST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis in smiley. an unedited anniversary of the assassination of president kennedy, we begin with a conversation with robert dallek whose most recent book is "camelot's court," which takes a close look at the president and his inner circle of advisers. then we will turn to a conversation with award-winning novelist ayana mathis whose first tome, "the twelve tribes of hattie," was a national bestseller. we are glad you have joined us. those conversations are coming up right now. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: it has been estimated that over 40,000 books have been written about resident john f. kennedy. two of the most respected come from presidential historian robert dallek who has been called by "the new york times" kennedy's leading biographer. his latest book is "camelot's ."urt on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of john f. kennedy, robert dallek joins us tonight from washington. good to have you on this program, sir. thanks for your time. >> a pleasure to
Nov 6, 2013 6:00pm EST
offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
Nov 5, 2013 6:00pm EST
>> this is "bbc world news america." >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to know your business, offering specialized solutions in capital to help you meet your growth objectives. we offer expertise and tailored solutions for small businesses and major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news reporting from washington. i am katty kay. the mayor of toronto admits to smoking cracked cocaine but see his net quitting. after all it was only once during a trunk and stupor. >> i know i embarrassed everyone bethe city and i will forever sorry. syria'snd illness, children are at risk for an outbreak of polio. and destination mars. countriese club of trying to find signs of life on the red planet. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. at a press conference this afternoon, mayor rob ford said stay in office despite acknowledging he has smoked cracked cocaine. after apologizing to the people of his city, he says he wants to get back to work. he had denied the allegations for months but recently police said they had a video of him smoking cracked. here is the latest. >> meet rob ford, elected mayor three years ago, a conservative a larger-than- life personality. his behavior has become stranger and stranger. >> his behavior has been extraordinary. he has been caught in florida smoking marijuana. he was caught in toronto attacking other fans and was thrown out of the stadium. he denies it. >> denial has become his default position in recent weeks. by the time this picture emerged of him outside of a toronto rumors were rife in which he is pictured smoking cocaine. >> i can't change the past. i can only move forward and learn from the past. i am doing.re you >> still no admission of the use of crack cocaine despite the fact the toronto police were conducting surveillance on its own mayor. tenuous relationship with the truth was becoming too apparent and today he decided to set the record straight. >> i have smoked crack cocaine. am i an addict? no. i tried it, probably about a year ago. wase have been times when i in a drunken stupor. that is why i want to see the tape. >> what started as comedy turn did sendand may yet into tragedy. rob ford appeared before the media once again fighting back tears, apologizing for his action that made no mention of resigning. >> i sincerely, sincerely, sincerely apologize. >> the mayor has yet to be charged with a crime and says he will be running for reelection next year. news,willis, bbc washington. >> rob portman says it was a difficult day for him. i think it was a difficult day for the people of toronto. rebels have admitted defeat. it ends a bloody this -- has killedthat thousands. revolutionary surrendered after congolese forces, backed by the united nations, recaptured strongholds in the east of the country. andy harding has this report. >> could this be one of the last artillery shells to scar the green hills of eastern congo? there had been conflicts here for a generation but today one major rebellion came to an end. rare victory for the soldiers, from the inventories we ragtag -- from the g army.usly ragta they were forced to give up the fight. crucial to the breakthrough where these troops from a new united nations force, working alongside the congolese army. for all of those involved in trying to stabilize the country, this kind of aggressive action that has been lacking in the past. >> this is certainly a significant step in the right direction. it has to be followed by the disarming of the other armed groups and a broader political dialogue. >> the instability in congo stretches way back to the rwandan genocide of 1994. the ethnic conflict between them spilled over into neighboring congo, a country falling apart. ever since then, millions of civilians have suffered at the hands of a bewildering range of militias and rebel armies and their foreign backers. notably rwanda. many are celebrating a rare military victory and perhaps a sign of things to come. it is in disarray. we do not have to hide again. we will not accept this anymore.n in the drc >> a little skepticism is in order. are one of many groups active. the congolese state is still weak and corrupt. today the gunfire has paused in these hills. but these troubles are not over. andrew harding, bbc news. congo andt of hope in long may it last. now efforts to reach a political solution to the syrian war ran into hurdles in geneva today. diplomats failed to set a date for a peace conference. the breakdown comes as humanitarian groups are warming of health problems inside syria, including the first outbreak of polio in 14 years. our correspondent as one of the fees overseas -- one of the few overseas journalists reporting. she has been to a clinic in damascus. >> two drops and many tears. protecting against polio, one of the most devastating childhood diseases. the clinic is packed with parents anxious to vaccinate their children. the children who got polio, she tells me. but thank god we have the vaccines. this center has some of the best health care there is in syria. families know it is safe to bring their children. it is not the same across the rest of the country. syria used to be polio free since the late 1990's. and now an area torn by fighting, there is a least 10 confirmed cases and fears there could be more. those cases were brought here to the children's hospital in the capital. the hospital is on alert for any children with possible symptoms. doctor oversees the process. she is in charge of the government's immunization program. >> it is a sudden disease with no symptoms. children may become paralyzed in one or both legs. iis is a huge challenge and will fight until there is no more polio. >> it is her fight in the midst of war. aid agencies say half a million children need to be vaccinated. >> in some areas it is difficult to implement the vaccination. if we want to control it, the campaign should be very short. and wide. this is the real problem we're facing. we do not have access to all of the high-risk areas. >> under growing pressure, syria 's foreign minister called in the press to highlight the humanitarian crisis. syria is responsible for every child, he said. child is every vaccinated against polio is the government prepared to do everything possible including working with the opposition? >> as far as the cooperation with armed groups with terrorist they have tolieve medicine should reach each child. and usually we asked the united makens organizations to the necessary contacts. we shall help in this direction. the children, agencies are calling on all sides to cease fire to allow vaccinations. the opposition accuses the government of blocking medical aid to areas under their control. this disease spreads fast and with thousands of syrians crossing borders every day to escape the war, polio threatens not just syria. too many children affected by that long more. a quick look at other news, thousands of pedophiles have been caught offering cash for a child to perform sex acts in front of a webcam. the charity gathered out a sting operation over several months. the 10-year-old filipino girls they used a computer animation of a fake child. the names of 1000 people, including 245 from the united states, have been sent to interpol. your many has asked britain to respond to reports in the sea is being used as a covert listening post. the nasa in the united states suggest britain could be operating a spy station on the roof of the building. i may have joined a spirited group when it successfully launched a destined for mars. already it is the most ambitious project for the space agency and brings new focus to the asian space race. and north has sent us this report. >> the countdown to the first mission to mars, hopes of lifting the country into a space the super league. it was a textbook launch. if all goes to plan, the probe the rocket is carrying willow will orbit mars, searching for signs of life. it will be almost a year before it reaches the red planet and success can be judged. some are asking, whether india should be trying to join this club. the real goal many believe is destined for mars before china. >> in asia, there is a new space race. the asian space race between the regional rivals, india and china. in most aspects, china has beaten india. but in the aspect of reaching aheadindia has a window of china. >> there has also been controversy over the cost of the mission when aliens still live in poverty and received british aid. some question the government's priorities. we do not been told have money, sanitation, employment, nutrition. we are told we do not have the money. to mars but we should ensure the minimum rights of the people. >> for many, these are questions for another time. for now, they are celebrating as the rocket heads for mars. andrew north, bbc news. >> amazing pictures. for more on the impact of the launch, the challenge ahead, i spoke with dr. ross irwin, a geologistould -- a who studies mars. what exactly does the state cost spacecraft hope to find? >> a number of them are going to look at the surface of mars, some of them are going to look at the atmosphere, looking for the composition of the atmosphere and whether it contains methane. >> it is crowded up there. indy is not the first country to try to learn something. >> that is right. there are two u.s. rovers on the surface of mars and two orbiters. there is another u.s. orbiter going out later this month. are theyt extent cooperating? >> in some cases they have international collaboration where different nations have provided instruments on the spacecraft. platform provided a for missions from other countries to study the moon as well. >> the question is, we have these rovers, we have several countries trying to find traces of life on mars, are we any closer to knowing whether the red planet has or potentially in the future support life? >> we know a lot about the environment of mars today. seem to have a lot of methane in the atmosphere. if there is life, it does not seem to have a big effect on the atmosphere in the way it does on the earth. looking back further into the past, mars had a whether climate , it was warmer than it is now. there was water on the surface. it was hospitable for life. >> of the potential was life was there, do we try to find out whether it could be there in the future? >> that is the ultimate hope. we would like to put people on the surface of mars. it would probably start as individual missions, maybe a base on mars like the ones we have in antarctica. able to seel be people -- >> in your lifetime? >> i hope so. not by much. see someone walking on mars in my lifetime. maybe around the time i retire. but as far as whether there will be a base on mars -- >> which brings me to another question, why does it take when you're? i am worried i'm going to be retired before the spacecraft gets to mars. what takes so long? >> when you go from the earth to the mars, when you reach mars, it is on the opposite side of the sun from where it started. you do that to save fuel. >> that means it is further away. >> that is right. you are not just going to the orbit of mars but all the way around the sun as well. , thanks for coming in. still to come tonight, can a republican state be the answer to a democratic president's health care woes? we report from kentucky where the governor wants change. >> they get up every day and roll the dice and pray they do not get sick. they know they are one dag -- diagnosis away from bankruptcy. >> today is election day in the united states and among the issues on the ballot in washington state, a push to increase the minimum wage to $15. that is double the current national minimum. in this small town on isrica's west coast, this part of a group of dispense their evenings going door to door, canvassing for change. spans 26 kilometers, home to 27,000 people, members of this small community are pushing for big change. increase tone, an the minimum wage for some workers to $15 an hour. advocates say people in low skill jobs should be able to make enough to live. in the small apartment, this person supports his wife, son, and his mother. despite working full-time, he finds making ends meet tough. >> it will be easy because i have no money in my hand. it is hardly enough to pay for everything. >> while the minimum wage in the u.s. has steadily increased over the years, the actual value has declined. comparatively, people are now earning less. main economic engine, the international airport. if the minimum wage increases to $15 an hour, most of the 6300 people who will benefit work here. yous also at the airport will find detractors, those who say that is unaffordable. here couldpens spread to other american cities. toesident obama can't seem catch a break to change american health care. the website is a mess. people are not signing up and republicans are doing what they can to weaken the law. maybe he should take a trip to kentucky. the southern state has become a symbol of success in the rollout of obamacare. mark mardell has been to investigate what is going on. >> kentucky is a land of contrasts, from the beauty of of racehorses to the poverty the rural landscape. it is the worst of the 50 states in cancer, not far from heart disease and premature death. it is the sort of place where obamacare is meant to make a difference. this person hopes it does because she has had some bad news. the cancer is back. >> it is in my bone marrow. i have to stay focused. i have a daughter, you know. >> if you do get greater cover, how much difference will it make? >> a big difference. it might take a load off of me. obama has done something great. you know, for the united states. isple complain that nobody going to be totally satisfied. >> after a month of asking, nobody can tell her what it will mean for her. that is critical. obamacare is the biggest, most important thing the president has done. certain to be his legacy because it will have an impact on the finances and lives of millions of americans. or ill?tion, for good >> we are dead in the water until you have your drivers license. >> is person is trying to sign up another customer. >> we have had glitches, but we have overcome them. we are moving along. in the past i have signed up over 100 people. >> a lot better than the national scheme, which has been in shambles. the democrat governor is spending a billion dollars to expand the health care program to the poorest. >> most of these people have never had health coverage in their lives. day andey get up every roll the dice and pray the do not get sick. are one badey diagnosis away from bankruptcy. >> this is a conservative state, 60% voted for him mitt romney. some said they dislike is not just political, it is personal. >> it means higher cost. it means a bigger burden on a college student that is tens of thousand dollars in debt. >> is person is just the sort of person obamacare is designed to help. he could not get any insurance. now companies have to cover him. >> it is not affordable. it is not affordable for my wife and my children. when you add me to the mix, that makes it more expensive. >> the obamacare sign up is looking good in the state because of its policy. how it goes in the long run will be more important. collection may have a bad name but tonight we're not talking about the nsa. instead, new york city is collecting a vast pool of information to help the city run smarter. we spent a day in the data center. here is what we found. place in new york, information is pouring out. zeros and ones. the big apple's data, gathered for the people. >> the revolution has just began. hold the city accountable for what we do. with all that stuff, people are scared about big data. we are doing b-day -- and data for good, for regular people. >> this city is gathering data and distributing data like never before. tearing down the walls between agencies who make the city work smarter. it is brilliant and banal. >> this morning i found out there was something we know about boilers. how below grade in the basement it might be and then you overlay that with the flat area for the 500 year flood zone and there you have your priority. to make sure that place is resilient and can hold up in the event of another flood. -- synthesizing the day that can sweep away the old way of doing things. >> it makes my job easier. signing -- the streamlines everything where i have a computer system. so the city is challenging tech entrepreneurs to use the data and to remove the barriers between the government and the governed. data fromert raw actionable local knowledge. at the end of the day, citizens do not care about the data set. they care about the information about themselves, if i live here be nice to would know the median house value, but the violations are. we can give that kind of answer. >> dubbing the applications, using our data, they come and ask us, how about some more of this, more of that? as transparency increases. >> new york is making the virtual world work for the physical world. so the city that never sleeps can burn even brighter. >> that brings the program to a close. remember you can find all of our updates on our side. thank you for watching. i will see you back here tomorrow. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
Nov 12, 2013 6:00pm EST
>> this is "bbc world news america." >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to know your business, offering specialized solutions and capital to help you meet your growth objectives. we offer expertise and tailored solutions for small businesses and major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i'm kathy k. where is the help? tens of thousands of those affected by are stilliyan waiting. >> are you hungry? >> yes. >> do you have any food? >> no. >> from the air, you can see the and list instruction and the areas no one has reached yet. the reliefge for operation is in or mess. and the big apple comes out the big winner in having the tallest skyscraper in the u.s.. yes, there is a competition for these things and new york beat chicago. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and elsewhere around the globe. it is day six after typhoon bbc.com -- after typhoon haiyan and the people of the philippines are increasingly in urgent need of basic supplies and food and clean water. the death toll is unclear, but the president says about 2000 have died. that is far below other estimates. seems tourvivors, aid be arriving in a trickle at best, and it is nothing like enough. this report contains distressing images. the last thing people in the philippines now need is more water. but today it rained and rained and rained. places when the rain comes down, people go inside. here, there is no inside. they huddled under whatever , althoughey can find some seem blissfully unaware of what destruction is around them. we see hundreds, maybe thousands of people patiently waiting. many have been here since before dawn in the hope of a few kilos of rice. >> what are you doing here? you are waiting for rides? >> are you hungry? >> yes. have any food? >> no, no. >> no food. the biggest issue out here is people lost all of their food. all of their rice was damaged in the storm. it is now the fifth -- six days since the storm. running out. there is a sense that aid is not getting in here. the airport says planes are coming in, but we don't see anything here. drivere head on, our suddenly breaks down. >> [crying] >> overcome by the strain of the last few days. the people here are stretched to the breaking point. airport, a transport plane arrives. a finally here to arrive. but no, the plane is empty. it is here to evacuate u.s. citizens. anyone who can is now getting out. and you can understand why. just a few hundred meters away, aid all lies beside the dead body of a child. lies beside the dead body of a child. >> we are just a few hundred meters away from the airport terminal and around me here, i , 10 bodies2, 7, 8, 9 on the side of the street. nothing has been done about it. back, thetime we head patience is gone. the crowd we saw waiting earlier for rice are now looting. tonight is the fifth since the typhoon struck. here are feeling increasingly abandoned and alone. bbc news in tacloban, central philippines. >> it is hard to get aid into the affected area, in part storme the form -- the destroyed so much infrastructure, but also because the weather today did not help either. get there by helicopter, but got turned back by the storm. here's what he saw. >> the disaster zone is about 45 minutes flight, but the captain warned as he might have to dodge a few storms on the way. so far, much of the aid effort is concentrated on the big towns. >> [indiscernible] >> from 300 feet above ground, you can see about how many villages have been affected. helicopter mercy missions would be ideal, but there's a problem. a ate helicopter pilot had experience. the people rushed toward the helicopter and grabbed everything they could. theas dangerous both for helicopter crew and the people. i guess you cannot really blame them. the people are really desperate and they need help. >> around this area, the roads have been cleared, but of her -- othercture infrastructure has been destroyed. much of one province is given over to agriculture, mostly coconut, sugarcane, and rice. you can see mile upon mile of crops have been destroyed. the rural province here has lost a whole season. lies on the other side of a ridge of mountains. passes as theal weather was closing in. no choice but to turn back. >> [indiscernible] >> filipinos are a resilient people. this is not the first storm they have had to weather and it will not be the last. if nothing else, they have their fate to cling to. ith to cling to. >> victims of the typhoon have become increasingly angry at the lack of assistance the filipino government has given. but the government has pledged not one person will be left behind where they are, but many have heard nothing at all from the authorities. on aorrespondent went journey to the far north of the island and here is what he found. the road north is littered with the remains of what the storm left hind -- behind. checks --ed to mass matchsticks. trees flattened. every village has a terrifying story of the night the storm hit. >> where's your house? >> there. >> this is your house? >> yeah, yeah. >> she was inside with her husband and three children when the roof blew off. and this is the roof here. it has come straight off. >> they had to battle the win to reach the safety of a neighbor's home. the rain is still falling. we saw just two small crews working on the power lines, a desperate task force so few people. -- four so few people. all along the road, children have been sent out to ask for help, but it has been slow in coming. these people managed to collect a few secs of right -- rice together and drove where they found people in need. it did not take long. the line was up the road. >> the further you go north, [indiscernible] >> and she was right. the wind for this roof off in one piece. so much damage and for days on my help has not as right -- and four days on, help has not arrived. >> please, if we could have helped. people are dying. we need the help. just send some kindhearted people. >> on the north of the island, they were hit hardest. some were lucky and just needed to patch holes. others will have to start from scratch. we made our way to the area where the majority of the damage has been done. pretty much i'd -- every house has either been slammed or the roof has been taken off. they say the islands around here are even worse. there are still so many remote places around the typhoons disaster where people are desperately waiting for help. >> for the latest from the philippines, i spoke to rupert in tacloban just a few moments ago. rupert, what we are hearing reports that aid is getting to the region, but you are not seeing it being distributed around town yet, are you? we are not. and we are not even seeing much sign of it arriving at tacloban airport. we had a marine aircraft coming in yesterday, but they were coming to evacuate u.s. citizens . the philippine military has been bringing in soldiers to try to secure the area here. we have not really seen any substantial aid coming into the airport yet, and certainly nothing being distributed on the ground yet. we are now in today six since the storm and people are still having to essentially fend for themselves. >> i imagine that with every day, the conditions there deteriorate. how desperate are people for food and clean water? >> it is getting worse every day, as you say. it rained again heavily overnight. most people are living out in the open. the roofs are drawn from all of the buildings. people are putting up makeshift shelters to get out of the rain to sleep that night. but there are hundreds of thousands of people exposed to the elements. there is a lot of water around. deepaw streets nearly knee- in blackwater yesterday. there are many who are injured from the typhoon on friday, their feet, their legs, head injuries, and then they are living in these hot, wet, humid conditions. it is a recipe for the suppressant -- the spread of disease. >> we do see in your report that there are cars moving around the city. whetherrious to know there is still gas or electricity at all. >> there is no electricity here at all. all of the power grid has been destroyed. people are moving around, as you say. there are a lot of traffic jams as people try to move around to find their relatives. is of the things that hurting the most is there is no telecommunications or mobile phone system. they have to go to see their relatives to see that they are ok. but fuel supplies are starting to run down. the petrol stations are closed. we saw one open yesterday and maybe 1000 people lining up to try to get a liter of fuel. the situation is going to get worse and worse. >> you are watching bbc world news america. takes --come, new york six its claim of the tallest building in the u.s. we will tell you why it took and it -- a panel to make that call. fora's leaders are calling a comprehensive deepening of economic reform. it comes at the conclusion of one of the most important communist party meetings to take place for some time. the things they decided was that the market must take more control of the economy. ofe is more of what came out these high-level talks. >> for the last four days, china's leaders held a secret meeting at the staging a hotel. -- they wererging discussing the second largest world economy. reforms are urgently required. this was a display of common his party unity. no dissenting voices were on show. the countries hugely powerful sake on companies faces more competition. and there are also calls for more transparency in the financial sector and the tax system. the party talked of the need for farmers to have property rights. when disputes remain the biggest source of social unrest here. but pushing for any reforms will mean taking on powerful vested interests. sayings inhe oldest chinese is the upper levels have a policy in the lower levels have a counter policy. there are many ways you can excepto be complying, something else is spending money taking from local social security and putting into real estate. the time frame for implementing these policies remains vague. it could be months, if not years before we understand the importance of this meeting. >> for children and their school bus driver were buried today in syria after two mortars struck the old city of damascus on monday. the shell hit a school and a school bus in a mainly christian area. there are now a growing number of attacks in what had been a relatively safe central damascus. is chief correspondent reporting from the capitol. there are disturbing images in the report. >> a mother's grief fills the sounds in damascus. her son died on the spot when a mortar landed. i don't recognize him, she wails. his face is gone. he has no eyes. and in this more, for children, including eight-year-old -- this eight euros. angel, he a pure says, in fourth grade. both sides accuse the other of taking lives. another uncle says his last goodbye. nephew., stand up, my this is for you, serious, he he says.yria, then they bring out the white coffins one by one. the nasa took her last trip to the armenian church. -- vanessa took her last trip to the armenian church. celebrate her life in arab tradition. ,his boy mourns his friend supported by his mother. >> [crying] as grief grows, so does anger on both sides of this conflict with both sides blaming the other. as this war drags on, it becomes ever more difficult to bring syrians together again. vanessa's coffin lies next to that of this six-year-old. there is some comfort in these rituals, but now nowhere feel safe. >> the senseless killing and the endless grief in syria. among this man's well-known clients, bill clinton, and others. he started teaching 50 years ago and has spent -- and since then countless students have crossed his path. he is writing a new book. i spoke to him about his life. there were others before, but the case i remember you becoming famous for was the o.j. simpson trial. to what extent did that change your professional life? >> o.j. simpson called me because i had previously won another case grouping that he didn't -- inject her with insulin, proving science. that case did change the public's view of me. it made me much less popular. people hated me for defending somebody they all believed was guilty. i had to go around espousing what i thought was the excepted principal, that better 10 guilty go free than one innocent be wrongly confined. lawyer, isous trial a more satisfying to defend people who the public thinks are guilty? mike tyson is another example. >> no, i would much prefer to defend people that the public thinks are guilty. i -- i am like a brain surgeon, i want the hardest cases. if this is -- if they think they did it, then to turn around, that is the challenge. i don't turn down a case based on what i think is the innocence or guilt of the defendant. many of my clients have been guilty, because most people charged with crimes in america are guilty will stop and thank god for that. >> you right in the book that you don't like the idea that you but youlebrity lawyer, appear on television a lot and have done a lot to raise your profile. are you being a little disingenuous? >> i don't like celebrities, celebrities like me. to be their me lawyer. i find many of them boring and difficult to deal with. i would much prefer to represent scare people. i go on television for three or four reasons. one, my case requires that i go and turn public opinion around. abouttimes, i care deeply an issue like the first amendment. and finally, if i write a book, i want people to read it to muscle i want them to know that i have written a book. -- i want people to read it, so i wanted to know that i have written a book. >> what do you make of someone like edward snowden? >> i make a sharp distinction between someone like snowden and even daniel ellsberg, the people who improperly or even illegally took the material that they were supposed to and obligated to keep secret. and in the case of "the new york times" and julian assange who theished material, or guardian who published snowden, i think the first amendment protects the publishers, but not the people. it may be civil disobedience, but they have broken the law. >> would you defend them? >> i would, provided he came back to america and paste the move -- the music. i would not defend him while he is running away. are twoork and chicago of america's greatest cities with culture and heritage, but unfortunately only one of them can have the tallest building in the country. today, an international panel of architects gave that title to new york's one world trade center. it lost out by a needle. the architecture, the city that invented the skyscraper. the pride and joy of chicago has been this tower. for the past decade, america's tallest living. but some disappointing news today. >> america's tallest building, when it completes next year, will be one world trade center. a design change earlier this year, a debate grew over whether the tall structure on or was part of the building -- was a spire or an antenna. it was, indeed, a spire. >> the key word is permanent. never to be attitude or taken away. to or taken away. >> its height was designed to mark america's independence, 1776 feet. gettings never about one billion being against another. we understand -- pitting one building against another. we understand the importance of the trade center. chicago, we know that we will remain one of the most iconic structures in the world, and in fact, the highest spot you can stand in north america in a building. >> they did not seem to care. >> it doesn't matter to me that this isn't the world's tallest building. it's just semantics. it is an important piece of our country and that is what is important, i think. high, and it is so i've never been in a high, high building before, this is my first time here. >> you can see it across four different states. >> i'm not sure i would do what she just did. reporting from chicago. that brings the program to a close. for updates on the philippines, it is on our network. thanks for watching. i will see you tomorrow. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, union bank, >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news america" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
Nov 4, 2013 6:00pm EST
>> this is "bbc world news." >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, united healthcare, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to know your business, offering specialized solutions and capital to help you meet your growth objectives. we offer expertise and tailored solutions for small businesses and major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news." >> reporting from washington, i am katty kay. the president on trial. the home and morsi insists he is still in egypt's legitimate -- mohamed morsi insists he is still egypt's legitimate ruler. the biggest anti-american protest in decades. and masterpieces of modern art seized by the nazis are discovered all these years later in a small apartment in germany. welcome to our viewers on public television in america, and around the globe. a defiant mohamed morsi harangue the judge as he started his trial in egypt today. he is still the country's president and the case against him is therefore illegal. this was his first public appearance since being toppled in july. he is accused of inciting the killing of protesters last year, and must now be transferred to a jail cell. >> a relaxed arrival at court for mohamed morsi. the ousted islamist wore a dark blazer. officials say he refused a prison uniform. only state tv was allowed to film, and released its footage without sound. coaccused joined his in a cage in the same courtroom where his predecessor, hosni mubarak, has been on trial. egypt's first democratically elected president, now behind bars and defiant. i am still president of the republic, he shouted, and i am here against my will. what is happening here is providing cover for the military coup. chaos erupted several times. several egyptian journalists were yelling, "execution. xecution." the judge called for quiet, but there were shouting matches between opponents and supporters of morsi. security was incredibly tight, several layers deep. what went on inside the courtroom was a deposed president determined to have his say. mohamed morsi spoke out repeatedly, shouting at the judge even when his voice became horse. to read the hearing, he and his fellow accused kept repeating they did not recognize the court. it was a very different picture last june, when mohamed morsi was triumphant at the ballot box. massive protests at his divisive rule. the army removed him, saying it was the will of the people. a military government is in charge now. >> the judicial system in egypt is independent. he was given all the rights to defend himself, same with morsi, same with mubarak. nobody is above the law. >> a human rights campaigner says the trial is part of a campaign against the muslim brotherhood. >> there is a massive crackdown against the muslim brotherhood, and many of their senior and middle rank leaders are already detained without charges. there is a worrying pattern, targeting the brotherhood. met with tearers gas in downtown cairo today. the brotherhood is now banned. the former president is facing what looks like justice. >> there were protests in iran today, where demonstrators took to the streets with a familiar refrain. there are demonstrations every year that marked the anniversary of the siege, but these are the biggest in decades. tens of thousands of supporters of hardliners rallied to spew alsool on the u.s., but proposed negotiations with the west. >> there are protests every year on this anniversary. why were these ones so much bigger? is, theimple reason hardliners have been calling for a massive show of support. there is a conservative some would consider a hardliner in power. this is the first year in several years the conservatives are in the opposition. they have been fighting america for so long. this president says he might want to enter directly negotiations with the united states. his opponents feel like they have their backs against the wall. how do they respond? they bring thousands of their supporters out onto the street. >> if you are watching these protests from washington, does it make you think that president rouhani's room for maneuver is perhaps not very great? >> that is a very good question. asdoes show the opposition he tries to push through reforms domestically as well. do not forget, before president ahmadinejad, there was another reformer in power. he encountered the same obstacles, the hardliners in control of the judiciary and several seats in parliament. they tried to block him every step. later on, he admitted he was not able to achieve the things he wanted to. the same obstacles will now be put in front of the new for domestict just politics, but international as well. this is what is faced every time he tries to create a new rapprochement with the united states. the hardliners here will accuse him of selling out the people from the islamic revolution. >> what did you find at the american embassy building? there wouldxpecting be something of a museum. but it was almost like walking through a time warp into 1979. there was a lot of espionage taking place. the iranians have meticulously preserved so much of the equipment that was there in 1979 . diplomats in "argo," trying to destroy sensitive documents. those paper shredders are still there, as well as computers and original papers they were able to confiscate from the embassy. the point of this, the iranians say, is to show this is still a big wound for the nation. they still remember to this day that america was trying to interfere in iranian domestic affairs. thatsplit in 1979 -- symbolizes the great gulf now between the united states and iran. >> thank you very much. a quick look at other news from around the world. united states and saudi arabia have sought to play down their differences during a visit by the u.s. secretary of state, john kerry. there have been strains in relations between the long- standing allies, particularly over syria and iran. the saudi arabian foreign minister has said that any differences with the u.s. are about tactics rather than goals. men appeared in kenya over their alleged role in the shopping mall attack. all are believed to be somali nationals. he pleaded not guilty to charges which included helping terrorists and entering kenya illegally. nemo can group al-shabaab says it carried out the attack which killed at least 67 people. the americans have a lot to learn. that was the reaction of the pakistan security minister after a drone strike killed the leader of the taliban in his country. they said they were about to start negotiations and was angry with washington for launching the attack the day before talks were due to begin. it is the latest promo and in an already tense relationship, one that is covered in the new book ." gnificent delusions i am joined by the former ambassador to the united states. the pakistani government has accused the americans of trying to sabotage these talks. how much has the drone killing of massoud, located the relationship? >> the relationship is sufficiently complicated that anyone event -- that said, the pakistani position has been harsh. the americans did not expect that reaction. an emphasis was put on bilateral targets, at pakistani request. talk tod, we intend to this guy. please do not kill him. there is a difficult pattern of u.s.-pakistan relations. to something the americans think they should not react to. >> that shows the communication. whate problem remains that pakistan once in the united states is not what that says it wants from the united states. it only wants resources and military equipment. that is what its real priority is in its relation with the united states. at the same time, america's priorities are our priorities, it announces, which they are not. dance ofrough this shadows between both sides. the americans do not have the ofd of tradition understanding a complex culture or a complex political manipulation and maneuver they could actually get. >> you are suggesting the lack of clarity coming out of islamabad in relation with one issue -- washington has been concerned about is, what it comes to the battle against extremists, the pakistanis say one thing but do another thing. to what extent is that still the case? >> if you read the book, that has been the pattern since 1947. pakistan went to work with india, which was not a communist country. pakistan said, if you give us conventional weapons, we will not make nuclear weapons. in case of the extremists and terrorist groups, pakistan's's vision has been, this is blowback from the war against the soviets we fought together. >> when prime minister sharif comes to washington, as he did a couple weeks ago, and says the relationship is back on track -- to what extent is that true? to what extent might it no longer be true? >> i think the prime minister should have said, we are talking again. the question is, will united states or pakistan get out of the delusional approach that they have in their relationship, and actually talk straight and say, this is where our national interest is, this is what we expect from you, and this is what you should expect from us. look at the drone issue. the stated position and the real drone are so far apart. pakistan has identified targets to be hit by drones. there needs to be a gap between the stated and the real positions that each side has. >> thank you for coming in. a lot of demonstrations and a lot of difficult relations today. tenseng of those relationships, south korea's president has spoken openly of a deep rift with japan as the country struggles to rein in the country's nuclear activity. in the leader sees no point in a meeting with the japanese leader unless japan apologizes for its wartime wrongdoings, as she put them. president began by discussing north korea's nuclear program. heard time trust is and again from the mouth of south korea's president. she uses it to describe her domestic goals, foreign relationships, and her policy toward pyongyang. her departure for europe, she told the bbc that it is hard to trust the north korean leader, because he did not honor his promises, but that any provocation by pyongyang would carry a huge price tag, and her country would never accept a nuclear-armed north korea. >> we cannot repeat the vicious cycle of the past, where north korea's nuclear threats and provocations were met with and then followed by renewed provocations and threats. otherwise, north korea will continue to further advance its nuclear capability, and will come to a point where this situation will be even harder to crack. we will not be talking about whether north korea should or should not possess nuclear weapons. but their demands will creep to such an extent that they will be calling for arms reduction or arms talks. and it will be more difficult to deal with this issue. >> after decades of failed negotiations and nuclear tests, pyongyang is getting closer to a deliverable nuclear weapon. it's long-range rocket launch last year, and its most recent nuclear test, have helped bring north korean friends and enemies a little closer together. china asdent describes a very close neighbor, which makes the growing rift between south korea and japan, america's biggest allies in the region's -- in the region, more surprising. >> i look to japan as a very important partner with whom we have a lot to work on together, and i hope we can look forward to improved relations. fact is there are certain issues that complicate that from happening. of themple is the issue comfort women. these are women who spend their blossoming years in hardship and suffering, and spent the rest of their life in ruins. and none of these cases have been resolved or addressed. the japanese have not changed any of their positions with regard to this. so let us assume our leaders were to meet at the table. if japan continues to stick to the same historical perceptions and repeat their past comments, what purpose would a summit serve? perhaps it would be better not to have one. it would just create more anger amongst the korean people. direction from the south korean president is rare, but the rift is not just a local issue. with new construction seen at north korea's main missile launch site and the restarting of its nuclear reactor, regional cooperation or lack of it could carry real consequences. bbc news, soul. -- seoul. >> the president has a very busy agenda there. the camp and a country under siege. peacekeepers in the central african republic are trying to prevent the religious violence from spreading. 50 years ago, india launched its first rocket into space. this week, the country's intergalactic ambitions will take a further step forward when its unmanned mars orbiter will blast off on a nine-month forage over the red planet. the mission is a showcase for india's engineering progress. at the country has been criticized for spending on a space program when it is still home to billions of poor people. what does india hope to achieve? >> the spacecraft has been prepared for a voyage to mars. there, india will become only the fourth country to reach the red planet. >> it is a mission which has a very specific for chris. demonstration of indian technology will reach mars. a very large perspective on that is national pride. if india can be china and reaching mars, imagine what would be the kind of national pride. be a long time before india can make that claim. once the spacecraft is launched, it will take quite a while. next year, it will actually reach the orbit of the red planet. all the information it collects will be received right here, but this antenna. link between the earth and india's mars mission. most of this technology is home- grown, and building it costs about a billion dollars a year for india. exploring another planet may not be as useful for india's people as sending satellites into space, but it could give india a much-needed boost in its space race with china, a race in which india has until now been lagging far behind. >> united nations is warning of a potential genocide in the central african republic, where it says the government is unable to control armed groups. aid organizations are calling for urgent help. the u.n. chief, ben kee moon, says there has been a total breakdown in law and order. the centeras been in of this violence. we have this report. >> the church -- over 40,000 have sought refuge after their homes were attacked by former rebels. this is a community under siege. camp, as life goes in the people are afraid to leave, even when their homes are just down the road. her brother tried to go to town this morning. he was shot dead. this story, however, has a happy ending. the brother was eventually found. badly beaten, but alive. for many of the men who venture out of the camp, the risk of being beaten or worse is high. he goes home whenever he can. there is nothing left, after all the furniture was stolen. says both seleca and muslims are now the enemy. >> i want to not lose my chance at life. for now, i want revenge. this is what i want. , aon the other side of town man preaches peace. the community living in fear. both sides.g is on many hundreds have died, mostly civilians. neck andhot in the left for dead as her village was attacked by christian militia. she is the sole survivor of her family. she tells me that when she regained consciousness, she found the body of her father, husband, and children lying dead around her. forceican peacekeeping has been deployed to prevent further violence. but limited resources and too few men mean they may not be able to protect the population for long. it started as a political rebellion is threatening to turn into a full-scale religious conflict. in a vicious circle of attacks and reprisals, the humanitarian situation continues to worsen. there is a plan to end the violence and take and taken create measures toward reconciliation. >> reporting from the central african republic, a conflict we have heard very little about. picasso, matisse, chagall -- we know them as the modern masters, but they were labeled degenerate by the nazis and banned in the 1930's. thousands of paintings were confiscated, never to be seen again. now, in one of the largest halls of its kind, 1500 of these paintings have been discovered in a small apartment in europe. the art could be worth more than a billion dollars. is a small flat in munich in which hundreds of millions of pounds of modern art was discovered among soup cans and shoe polish. artworks by 20th- century masters were kept here by the son of a german art dealer who said they had been destroyed, but are now safely in this warehouse. they are thought to have been looted by the nazis from jewish and 1940's, 1930's and represent only a fraction of the 16,000 pieces it is now estimated they plundered. are trying to find thousands and thousands of looted paintings. that is true for everybody working in the field. despite expert researchers, who do the most painstaking search to try to trace these works, they are missing. missing, some of them are in collections like this, and some are in museums which have not published what they have. >> german officials have not revealed which paintings are in the tro. one sold after the man was detained, and is an example of what hitler and the nazis considered degenerate art -- modern in style and content. >> there were some works which he approved of that he wished to remove, the art with jewish content. were also quite canny and keeping a lot of the very good art. geteemed they intended to that up into collections. >> this elegant modernist from a german jewish artist who emigrated in 1933. he left some of his artwork back in germany, where some was included in the infamous degenerate art show of 1937. the nazis gathered paintings by respected artists such as paul and and vastly kandinsky, subjected them to public ridicule. while these are on public view in london, there has and criticism that the germans are not doing enough to find art looted by the nazis, nor to restore it to its rightful owners. >> what an amazing find. thanks for watching. see you back here tomorrow. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, union bank, and united healthcare. >> my customers can shop around, see who does good work and compare costs. it can also work that way with health care. with united healthcare, i get information on quality ratings of doctors, treatment options, and estimates for how much i'll pay. that helps me and my guys make informed decisions. i don't like guesses with my business and definitely not with our health. >> that's health in numbers. united healthcare. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
Nov 1, 2013 6:00pm EDT
wanted men. gunmen opening fire at los angeles national airport, killing a security agent and winning several others. and first moscow, now berlin, former american contractor edward snowden says he will help a u.s. -- a german investigation into u.s. surveillance programs. >> welcome to our viewers on public television in america and also around the globe. a high-ranking taliban official says the leader of the taliban and pakistan has been killed in a u.s. drone strike. the missiles are said to have targeted his house and his car in the north, as a meeting was underway. others, including his brother, are also reported to have died in the attack. richard galpin is following developments from islamabad. i spoke with him just a short time ago. richard, what has been the reactions to the death? >> certainly amongst politicians here in islamabad, particularly the opposition, there has been real dismay about what has happened. some of them describing it as a deliberate attempt by the united states to try to sabotage the hopes of some kind of talks taking place between the pakistan g
Nov 2, 2013 1:00am EDT
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight, a conversation with two of the founding members of tower of power. over the years, they have toured constantly and released more than 20 albums. their latest is called "hipper than hip." it features the or and section that defines their distinctive sound. tower ofation with power, coming up right now. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. asis: tower of power started . cover band they became the back bone of the driving mourn sound that came to define twoer of -- tower of power. their latest album is a double disc set called "hipper than hip." is is from the 40th anniversary cd. it's called "what is hip?" ♪ ♪ tavis: still sounding good, man. still sounding good. whatever happened to the bands with the great worn sections? >> were there that many? tavis: more than there are today. >> that's true. i guess they gave up. less music in the schools, there are fewer horn players coming out. guys want to play guitar and synthesizer. link -- ihink that think you are right about th
Nov 8, 2013 6:00pm EST
? >> "bbc world news america" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
Nov 21, 2013 12:00am PST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight a conversation with jeffrey wright. he is cursed starring in the second installment of the hunger games titled catching fire. also joined the cast of "boardwalked series empire." we are glad you joined us. a conversation with jeffrey wright coming up right now. ♪ >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. wright'sffrey distinguished career includes a tony award-winning role in "angels in america." earlier this year he joined the cast of hbo's "boardwalk empire" playing a harlem-based gangster. he is starring with jennifer lawrence in the second hunger games. the movie opens this weekend. you know? >> a shimmering. you see it. >> it's like glass. >> look around you, all the holograms and lights. >> because the force field is taking up too much energy. glad to have you back on. your talent is immense. you are so versatile. how did you enter "the hunger games." >> i was asked. director, a brilliant director francis lawrence and i had come close to working together on another of his movies he wanted me to be a part of. he circled back to me on this. he said, take a look at the script. i would love to have you be a part of this. like many parents i was a little perplexed by the first movie, how a movie that features kids fighting to the death in a gladiatorial arena can pass as entertainment. then i delved a little bit further. i realized there was a much more complex social and political commentary that was being nude -- being made using the exploitation of children as a central point within it, and it is very fascinating stuff. it's not fluff. it's catching on in many ways classical mythological themes for jennifer's are. she goes on this heroic journey in the midst of this dystopian society. she really just wants to be home. with her family, and her priorities are very universal. friendship, love. i was really drawn to it. thanent said, it is bigger bond. i said, i will take a look. tavis: you have started to intimate it, but what are some of those deeper truth you are goessting you saw that beyond kids killing kids? >> i think this is a great movie for kids and also parents to take with their kids. society, a deterioration of our society potentially, it is escapist but not escaping entirely. there are still these themes that are being explored. issues of war, classism, and what is fascinating is the way thisne collins has written so that you can find yourself within these stories across party lines, across denominations. i have talked to some fans who are attracted to the story as they see the one percent versus the 99% dynamic they think is reflexive of something going on now. about corruptis government and say we need to be strong against the tyranny. universereated the which people can place themselves in. there are others who find other characters they relate to. the strong girl at the center is attractive to many girls. she is brave. she is fighting for elemental things. she is not necessarily sitting on a political soapbox. there is any number of things. ofhink there is a lot cynicism in movie making particularly large-scale hollywood films. there is a lot of cgi. here we have all these elements, but at the same time you have a very human story, and the story doesn't give way to the scale of filmmaking. balanced, andl that is a credit to the director francis lawrence. there tavis: is something beautiful about it. tavis:one of the great things about your career is you seem to bounce between not just movies and theater but a lot oster franchise. mentioned aunt. but a franchise. we mentioned that. is that by design, or does it just kind of happen? >> if there is any design it is improvisation. big movie, big action stuff, but it is always done with the degree of intelligence. politics of the bond thing is complicated, but there is always a sense of relevance to those stories. films -- i do other films for other reasons. i have chosen some films because i wanted to stay close to home. i have two kids, and i put the brakes on film to some extent because i didn't want to be way from home for too long. i did some other things that drew my interest. it varies. there isn't one method. i try to find things i respond to. tavis: it must make sense that this point in your career to be sought out for some of these characters. to prepare for these conversations, and it's amazing the number of times i have had you on for conversations where the director sought you out. they wanted you for this particular character. do.es, they sometimes they regret it. most of the time not. i have been doing this for a little bit now. if you don't know by now, what i might be able to do, there are a number of directors out there and other creative folks who have said we like what you do and want to work with you. i have to say if there are any people i do owe a good deal of thanks to in the industry, it's the artist. who directors or writers took an interest in my work. i haven't always felt welcomed by the business aspect, by the studios, although that changes as well. artists who for some reason gravitated toward my work. i don't take that for granted. tavis: i wonder what difficulty you have deciding what you want to do. you wrestle with how you are going to explain why you took a particular role, as if somehow you owe me or the viewers an explanation. i guess you feel you have to justify to yourself why you take certain roles, given your politics. this stuff doesn't happen easily to you. you are such a complex human being who has views on the world. sometimes they are controversial, but i wonder, is the process of you choosing roles that fraught with difficulty? >> no, i don't suggest it's difficult. i try to find things that resonate for me, and not everything does. earlier in my career i did angels in america on broadway, and it spoiled me the idea that you could find work that was meaningful, that the actor wasn't just a guy at the other end of the bar. tavis: i get the sense you are looking for stuff that has relevance and meaning. >> i am looking for stuff that connects to my interest. i was born in the middle of the 60's, grew up in washington, d.c. when i was a kid it wasn't free chris brown. it was free angela davis. that's where we were then. this is now. things were formative, and when i started acting, i thought you could bring those things to the table as well. the early movies i took in as a the i remember going to cinema and seeing claudine, dog day afternoon, all of these things that even if they weren't overtly political there was a .ocial resonance to them they were connected to the day, and they weren't trying to mask society. it was a different era prior to the big block oster. you know the jobs and star wars and star wars era. that is still something i am attracted to. tavis: you mention washington. you had the nerve the other night to show up on a talk show for a conversation wearing a washington redskins hoodie, and you knew when you walked on that stage with that jersey on the debate about the name that you were stepping into the middle of, so tell me your thoughts about the name and whether the commissioner and the owner of the redskins should do something about the name of this team. beautiful, and for me, growing up in d.c. about five minutes from our case to bem, i don't mean nostalgic about it. i was a kid who was in love with foot all, and the redskins in washington were the biggest thing going. they are bigger than the federal government. the city in a significant way, and they elevated. there is no mockery. for me that image was in fact subversive of mainstream exclusivist white american so i tookbolism, great pride in it, as opposed cowboy example, the imagery. the dallas cowboys are from dallas, so enough said, but the idea of john wayne, ronald reagan riding off into the sunset was something i could never identify with, but as a young kid i didn't see something disparaging. i thought something i took great ride in and that there was a figure of color -- great pride in and that there was a figure of color was something meaningful to me, so what i take exception to is that you have a group of journalists who said you cannot even use the word. we can't even approach this word , but that it necessarily needs a slur, i as challenge. if you look at the origins of the word, there is a fantastic article in the washington post by a senior linguist at the smithsonian. find examples where it was native americans themselves who actually referred to themselves as redskins to differentiate themselves from the white so what is inherently racist about red and skin together unless you aspire to you mayte skin, then see it as inferior? i never viewed it in that way, i don'tn't inc. fans -- think fans are disparaging when they say, he'll do the redskins. they aren't saying it in a mocking way. it's not a minstrel image. it's something that is very extent drawn some from portraits of sitting bull. i'm not going to sit here and say people shouldn't be offended, but i just want people to understand it doesn't necessarily have to be seen through the lens of a white racist aesthetic. your point notwithstanding, it makes perfect sense to me. i guess the question is whether it matters how we view it, whether we be black or white. does it matter how we view it versus how they view it? i don't know the answer. white folk can have their opinions about the use of the word n--. >> there are some native groups saying it is offensive. there are others who say it is not. absolutely have to be sensitive to that, but i want to put the brakes on the suggestion there is some kind of newly fashioned clan rally people were associated with, and in fact there was some criticism that said the clan marched in saying, keep the redskins white. marched in post 68 d.c. out of the stadium they would have had hell to pay. there were some brothers who met them saying, we are just here to greet them. it has no relevance to what people were celebrating, but i understand it is intimidating. maybe the washington power jam would be a more apt name, which was the confederation of peoples in the d.c., maryland, virginia area. i would hate to see this native imagery completely disappear. in some regards, you take the land, the culture, the people are marginalized. now you don't even see any representation. i think it could be used as the opportunity. in an optical way but in a highly considered and mutually land way with certain communities that are open to it. find a way between these mainstream community. there could be an opportunity for a new engagement, setting a new benchmark that could be an example for mainstream america, including the u.s. government. entirely sensitive to folks perception, but i think there are creative solutions that could be interesting. i want to move on. does this say anything about political correctness? one of my pet peeves, my white liberal friends i talked to, i find myself checking them from time to time. sometimes they are so well- they missed the issue by a mile sometimes, trying to be politically correct. they end up missing it. since you raised this earlier, i wonder what does this say to you correctness in our era? >> sibley because you don't , theon the word redskin idea that you have somehow purged yourself of racism. missing the larger idea. my senior year of high school there was a guy who had written books on the drum. he invited me to go to a reservation in wisconsin to coach lacrosse. i played in high school and .ollege the program didn't go as well as we hoped. we were there for a few weeks. there were a lot of challenges there. challenges,nomic but it wasn't that the washington redskins existed that those challenges were there. there was a letter written by members of congress suggesting the term washington redskins has caused low self-esteem in native american youth. was an absencee of educational opportunities. there were land issues. there were housing issues that needed to be addressed. it was depressing. there was alcoholism. i am hoping folks are equally concerned with those issues as their ideas of what this language represents and their struggles with the language, struggle is well with the social and economic challenges the communities are think youd then i would be much more impact full and would be convinced it's not just about political correctness . you see it in africa as well. cony 2012 thing the country went crazy over. you had all of these young idealistic kids rallying around this idea. 30 or 40 billion people on youtube viewing this. the idea was we were going to go to uganda and hunt down this criminal who was representative of a progressive political in africa of a mayor today. i couldn't believe what i was seeing. economic no talk of challenges. rather, it was criminalizing this black outlaw figure who has done some heinous rings, but there is a much easier sell to a white liberal audience, demonize this black face over there. that is a much easier sell than to suggest african people are willing economic partners with you, that they actually don't want military intervention so much as they want your investment dollar. that's a much harder sell. i agree sometimes we let political practice and what seems to be a progressive step really mask the underlying realities. go on about the issue but never get to the real point, which is contestation of humanity of the people. that is another issue. have three minutes left. we get going. let me ask you, speaking of controversy. i am a big "boardwalk empire" fan. there are people who are concerned about whether the are you play is taking some creative brother.rom our the social media is burning up with this. relation with w except for-- dubois facial hair. he had magnificent racial hair. there has been some criticism around that. other criticism that we were trampling on the legacy of marcus garvey because he had a relationship, but i think if if you look at, it, he is using the public virtuousness to mask his criminality, and i think we have seen there is no question about where he stands. he is not a hero. he is not an antihero. he is more villainess. i read that new testament. how dare they associate judas with my jesus? i don't understand why there is a sensitivity in the african- american community to reveal our flaws through dramatic storytelling, and i don't think we should shy away from the idea of a villain. he is a villain. tavis: the answer is because we are still longing for that allen's. -- balance. \ >> i understand, but the villain can be reflect those of virtue. denies our humanity. >> that is why i love having jeffrey wright on the program. i am just getting started, and our time is up. you have the easy the weekend. opening this weekend is "the hunger games." it is an amazing cast. to be busy this weekend. we will be watching you all weekend. good to see you. come back anytime. angst for watching. as always, keep the faith. >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at pbs.org. tavis: hi, i'm tavis smiley. join me next time for a conversation with ayanastorian and author mathis. that's next time. we will see you then. ♪ >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> be more. pbs. >>> the following program contains language and subject matter that are adult in nature. viewer discretion is advised. ♪ >>> "imagemakers" is made possible from a grant, celebrating the power of the
Nov 14, 2013 12:00am PST
tavis: good evening evening from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight, a conversation with oliver stone. the writer and director of some of the most successful movies in recent memory. his recent film "jfk" was the in 1998.y released it is now in re release on blu- ray and in select movie theaters. we are glad you joined us for a conversation with oliver stone coming up right now. ♪ >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: oscar-winning writer, producer and director oliver stone has never shied away from controversy from his screenplay for "midnight express" which won him the first of his three boards. he tackles one of the most controversial stories in america. "jfk was quote has been re- released on blu-ray and in select theaters. realized kennedy was so dangerous to the establishment. is that why? >> that is a real question, isn't it? why? the how and the who is just scenery for the public. -- it keeps, cuba asking theng from most important question. why was kennedy killed? who benefited? who has the power to cover it up? tavis: welcome back, first of all. is there anything about what you 1991 with "jfk" that you have rethought, the regret, that you would do differently? >> i looked at it a few days ago and i feel it is a strong film, especially on the evidence base is, the autopsy, -- on the evidence, the ballistics, the autopsy. we don't try to make it into a false hero. he show that the case was always soft but that he brought out a lot of evidence that was later used in became important. tavis: a lot of things -- it occurs to me every time i see it with castingo do and you directing and a lot to do with their gifts and their talents, but the acting in this just holds up. these guys are so gifted. sutherland and costner, the entire cast, tommy lee jones. >> everyone is a face. is incredible. gary oldman as oswald. i love the cast. --re were seven signposts there were signposts. it is a competent story and the audience could lose some of those signposts. you remember who the people are. to ask if youoing thought this project may have been received different leave he did not have an all-star cast of a with less recognizable cases. we might've gotten lost in the storyline. >> i think it helped a lot. it was a fun movie in terms of tension. it keeps your interest. it grips you. it was a rough opening because, although we got eight nominations, oscar nominations, and two wins, it was a controversial time and we were scolded. the mainstream media attacked the film before he was sought. film six" attacked the was before it came out and called it hokum. there is always interest in denying the evidence that has been submerged in this case. is this fervid belief that oswald did it alone and you have to believe that. and whenever people fight against that, they are always ridiculed and marginalized. i include the entire radical community that -- entire vertical community. at the time i'm a how did you process the scolding, as you put it, that you are taking from the media? we've concerned that it would hurt your opening-day box office? everyone was piling on before it came out. >> i was naÏve. i was hot from the movie, off of "the tune," "born on the fourth of july," "wall street." i was able to take it. this was a public arena. i had taken all of my -- what do you call it come all the heat and he went into all of this movie. very complex. it might bomb at the box office, but i don't care. i'm going to make this movie because i deleted it. and think of the box office was there from -- because i believe in it. and thank god for the box office. it was there. i was arguing with the dan rather's of the world and all the naysayers. i never talk the attitude that movie. i felt responsible for the work. tavis: why did you feel that that movie had to make a statement? why did you can do so much of yourself to get out that storyline? myth that national has to be looked at. it is crucial to where we are today. what we try to say in the movable -- in the movie and in this untold story was that kennedy was significantly different than eisenhower before him and different from johnson after him. those three years with the beginning of a detente with the soviet union, a feeling for peace, a seeking out of a new ally with the soviet union, the end of the cold war, as kennedy called it at his university speech. pax of american war. presidents,merican next to roosevelt, he is the only mac and president to play -- you paid thomas to the contributions of the soviet that paid homeomage -- who edge to the contributions of the soviet union in world or two. tavis: -- in world war ii. tavis: they are still of the same mind, whether you're talking rather poor robert don't believe evidence that suggests anything other than oswald acted alone. >> let me just say that i don't want to be a hard. i am open to suggestions. i have read the book since then. our book led to the jfk act which opened documents. new books have come out and i would like to mention those books, too. i want to go back in aden fonzi's book, "investigation." "breach of trust" in 2005 come i believe. -- in 2005, i believe. a new book came out called "claiming parkland." he really takes apart, and deconstructs this book by vincent bugliosi that has gotten so much play in the mass media. issounds very massive and it visited as a prosecutor's argument. apart bit by bit and it is a very powerful book. a small publisher, skype or sooner your, but a good book. don't forget john neumann's " book. that is why i take the time. i say, as a filmmaker, as a dramatist, you have to pay attention to two very important pieces of information. motions of kennedy in in thatord are film. film, you see that kennedy is shot from two sides. he is shot from the back and from the front. there is no contesting that. in the time frame, it is impossible for it to be otherwise. he is shot from the front through the neck and the kill frame 313e head in where he goes back into the left. he is shot from the back in the back. he is shot from the rear in the -- in the lee is shot back. nelly is shot with another bullet. there is at least five bullets. is impossible that all those shots came from the rear. including this magic bullet, which is invented by alan spector, guided through the witnesses, and that magic bullet causes seven words into people. those two things. stick with the evidence. tavis: why is it to your mind at least that this matters 50 years later? that is to say who killed kennedy? what is that it meant -- why does that matter? >> we feel that it was a crime committed by the state. not the whole state, but by members of the military intelligence and security a huge beef had with kennedy because of his policies. as i said earlier, he was leading the united states into a new position with the soviet union. he was calling for the end of the cold war. he would have been reelected in 19 six to four because he was vastly popular and he also had a 1964 because he was vastly popular and he also had a brother. they were looking at a new dynasty in american politics, the kennedy dynasty. there was a space treaty in the works with khrushchev jeff. there was a limited test ban treaty that had been signed in 1963. this was a single or achievement of the kennedy administration. he signaled his intentions with vietnam. he had no desire to involve combat troops in that area. he also signaled his attention to cuba. he was looking for a worldwide renegotiation. that ended on november 22. since then, we have not had one president who has been able to stand up to this military industrial security complex. it has only gotten worse and bigger. it is almost as if we have a shadow government running this country that makes the real decisions. the man that we talked about last year, mr. obama. we had real hopes for him. right away, he caved on afghanistan. what he has said since then is an extension of the military industrial security state. now it is global. the soviet union ended in 1991, but we didn't stop growing. now we are listening on the whole world. we have space weaponry. we have drowned weaponry. we have cyber warfare. we have the -- we are the strongest country in the world bar none. no one can stand up to us. tavis: what do you make of the high hopes that you and others had for this president on this and other issues? let's just stay with the spying and the drones in the torture. -- and the torture. >> i am really surprised. i really believed in obama. i believed in transparent government policies and none of that has transpired. on the contrary, he is a better manager of the empire than bush ever was. it is wrong. he is a constitutional s cholar. bush made a fatal flaw. we were attacked by terrorists. instead of hunting down those people through intelligence, informers, through the usual process is by which the entire by whichow processes the entire world uses, he waged war and he said that you're either with us or against us and he divided the world right than. he made six countries suspect. essentially, the united states government makes us, the citizens of our own country and citizens abroad, suspects. we are all suspects. it is not just for terrorists. because i'm not a terrorist and you are not a terrorist. but we are all fearful that whatever we do and think and act comically want to form a new association, if we want to protest an essay policies, we are always being listened to. what is your read on some of these polls that suggest that the new -- the majority of the american people don't care so much about being spied on. i'm not a terrorist. i am not doing illegaanything i. back to the civil rights movement. you remember martin luther king. since the 1930s, j edgar hoover was listening into all of the civil rights leaders. he thought communism was behind it. the anti-vietnam war protest would've had informers all over it. the government has sealed this vacuum. so anything that is a protest movement will be subject to severe, severe penetration by the government. that is what you should fear. the civil rights may not have happened the way it happened. in other words, everything is positive for change that comes up in social life, we need change in our life, when those things happen, they will be able to happen because the government will be there to stamp down on it. tavis: who knows what kennedy would have done on vietnam? we can debate that for hours. what we do know is that john kerry, obama's secretary of state, fought in that war and, on "meet the press was quote, gregory tried to hit him to speak on a statement that he suggested that he doesn't believe that oswald acted alone. this thing is still being debated all these years later. is reasonable and looks at the evidence nose at the has to be at least two shooters, the kennedy was shot from the front and the back. that is an contestable to me. i do believe oswald was in the window but that is not the point . there's a guy at the fence. that is the shot. you have to stand by the fence to kill him. you have to get him in an ambush. it was very precise shooting, not with some phony little americana world war ii weapon. tavis: obama, as we know, has received more death threats than any president in the history of the nation. a conspiracythat can happen today without us finding out about it in this age of technology? >> it would be a lot harder. i got away with a lot in 1863. but it do think you create an atmosphere around it -- in 1963. but you do create an atmosphere around it. cocoon wherea everyone around me president, especially these days, is a military person or security person, an intelligent person. he is always being briefed. you hear about death threats about yourself come about your country and you know that you will be the president on this watch if there is a terrorist attack and you will be blamed by the opposition. so it becomes an increasingly rigid five double that you're living in. rigidifiedngly bubble that you are living in. and you become of the mentality like bush. you are either one of them or one of us. to the iraq war veterans was filled with all the lies that bush told us. even today, on the football game yesterday, i saw again they were saying these are the veterans day and he served in iraq on the war on terror. he did not serve in iraq on the war on terror. the war on terror was in afghanistan. terror.n the war on but now it is all part of our vocabulary. we are using orwellian terms durin. war on terror is a crazy expression for a limited war. hisy beetavis: you don't thinkt policies has done in thing to offend the tea party -- i'm just pressing you on this and i don't necessarily disagree that he hasn't done nearly as much as we hoped he would have done, has not been aggressive enough, has not been aggressive enough -- i'm with you on that durin. but there is something that has the opposition so hard on him. >> i know what you're saying. i really think that he is black has a lot to do with it. i don't know why these republican white people -- frankly, the o'connells -- the mcconnells -- it is like they are still fighting for the rights of whites in africa. so they are scared. tom delay is another one of those horrible white people who come along and they go back -- tavis: it's so funny to watch you do that. >> they have taken democracy away from us. elected by a be million and a half votes in 2012 and have the house of representatives so singly republican? that to me is the result of gerrymandering. also their stand on guns, on what rights, the concept of blocking the voting of blacks and hispanics, it adds up. i would think that they are very scared -- tavis: that is what i was getting at. they are threatened by something. it is not that he is doing a thing. >> they are threatened by the fact that he is black. that is enough. tavis: you have the untold history of the united states. we want to talk about this series. it is complete now. almost all saw of it. it is richly done. it is out on dvd now. >> blu-ray. a dvd download. tavis: excuse me. i am talking to a director. you can't make those kinds of mistakes. >> blu-ray is very good and good quality for archival footage. back on this look project, i assume you are pleased with it. >> my love of this country from -- actually from 1898 -- i was born in 1946 -- i'm not going to go too far -- but since the 1940s on, we moved into this national security state. i would love to have another generation see this -- tavis: is it too late to get it right? >> no, it isn't. tavis: we haven't gone so far that we can swing back? >> i like to believe that there are still good people in this country. i was in the soviet union right before it fell in 1983. under communism, i was doing a film about to do since who were fighting the regime. they had no incentives to work. the economy was dead. there was no compassion between people. the leadership was cynical. that, byhought in 1983 1986, it would start to shift. that gorbachev, who was a product of that system would be an instrument, an agent of change, as obama said. so sometimes you don't know. that soviet union fell within seven years. you never know. there could be a guy who comes from inside our system who literally can't do something. tavis: every empire in the history of the world has at some point faltered or failed. i don't know if it is our arrogance or in hubris are our nationalism that will not allow us to consider but that could happen to us, but is that a possibility? >> the main danger that we face is our own flaws. a reminder, hitler in 1941 was at his peak. for seven ors eight years. he conquered all of europe. he was ready to go into the east end into russia. -- into the east and into russia. this thing would start to fall by 1945, 3 years. the british empires always thought, before world war i, that britannia would rule the waves forever. it fell within to yours -- two wars. american overreach with two wars, spending 43% on military came we have 6000 bases. we spent too much on the military. martin luther king says that we are spending $50 for every poor person in this country. that is insane. that is what we are doing. we are militarizing every problem. we are not refreshing or rebuilding america. we have to change our priorities. that is what many good leaders have done. kennedy, robert kennedy, they were talking that way. unfortunately, they were all brought down. who will start talking that way again? simple terms. tavis: the may conclude where we began this conversation. this thing has everything in it. >> the directors cut, which is 20 minutes longer than the theatrical film. we have my commentary. we have chapter six, jfk to the brink, the and told story, the update to the jfk history. no assassination speculation. the hard facts of the kennedy administration. and we have pt 109 with cliff roberts, the movie on kennedy's exploit in the south pacific. three documentaries. photos. speeches by kennedy, etc. tavis: oliver stone has a product, y'all. it's all good stuff. i am always happy to have you on this program. good to see you, oliver.
Nov 13, 2013 12:00am EST
tavis: good evening from los angeles. tonight come a conversation with grammy-winning singer steve gyro -- steve tyrell. the songs of semicon. he will perform two of the most endearing. glad you have joined us, conversation from steve tyrell coming up right now. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: grammy winner steve tyrell is introduction to popular moves -- popular music started at age 19. burts already working with bacharach. he went on to work with bonnie raitt before striking out as a performer in his own right. his latest cd is called "it's magic, the songs of semicon. kohn."ammy a little sneak review you did to this before the record even drive. >> last year. it was this semi-con -- it was the sammy kohn centennial. he was a great writer. nominatedll, he was 27 times for the academy awards, which is unbelievable. people wouldthat ask him what comes first, the music or the lyrics? he would say the phone call. [laughter] that is where he got his inspiration. five golden globes, just an amazing lyricist. year.xtending that this i
Nov 26, 2013 12:00am PST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight, a conversation with producer stephen bochco, the creative force time -- behind series like l.a. law and hill street blues. he is without doubt what of only a handful of folks who have remade television, he is called the father of tb second golden age, now returning with the new series for tnt called "murder in the first your co-glad you have joined us. stephensation with bochco, coming up after this. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: there have been only a handful of series that can legitimately late claim to changing that television landscape for the better. three of them came from producer stephen bochco. now the 10 time emmy winner is about to return to tv with the new series called "murder in the first", which follows a single case where the entire season. at least i'm stealing for myself. i referenced that some critics have called to the father of tb second golden era. thatder if you are aware easily, because on the one hand, you put a lot of good stuff out
Nov 27, 2013 12:00am PST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight a conversation with phil wenders -- phil wilson. her almost dirty years wilson has been at the forefront of the national effort to stop the hiv- aids pandemic. we have an assessment of what has been accomplished and what still needs to be done. then we will d.l. hughley. he is hosting a new irreverent game show called "trust me: i'm a game show host." ♪ we are glad you joined us. ♪ >> the california endowment. health happens in neighborhoods. learn more. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ as the aids pandemic enters its third decade, it is no longer what it once was. we are told it is still relatively significant, in african-american communities. confronting this everyday is what he does. to see you. it is always good to see you. i am tired of having this conversation if you know what i mean. you have been living with hiv for how many years now? >> ernie for years. -- 34 years. >> that's amazing. ?hat do you make of it >> i have lots of work to do. thatgetting time t
Nov 15, 2013 12:00am PST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight, a conversation with blige,leitch -- mary j. selling more than 50 million albums. she just released her first holiday cd and will be seen in the new movie "black nativity." a conversation with mary j. blige, coming up. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. mary j. blige released her first album at the age of 21. it immediately went to the top of the charts, catapulting her into the limelight. "my life, was named by rolling stone magazine as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time. since then she has won nine grammys, sold 50 million records , but her latest is her first holiday cd, titled "a mary christmas." with "have a merry little christmas." and have yourself a merry ♪ttle christmas now you are sounding good, looking good. happy holidays to you. i could not wait to put it in, and as is my custom, i pull out the cover and want to read the liner notes. i started looking at the people you collaborated with on this. >> i needed it to be a masterpiece and something special.
Nov 1, 2013 12:00am PDT
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight, a conversation with mary steenburgen. she has costarred in back to the future and "the help." she is costarring with robert deniro, a comedy about lifelong friends coming to terms with getting older titled "last vegas." and we talked to george wallace who wrote a book called "laugh it off." coming up, right now. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. oscar-winning actress mary toenburgen goes from drama comedy and costars with an impressive array of actors in a new comedy called last vegas. the screen with deniro, freeman, douglas, kline. it opens this friday. >> you're getting married tomorrow. what are you doing here with me? >> what are you doing here with me? >> i do have an answer. i like you. >> no, no. no! [yelling] quacks i knew you would like it. -- >> i knew you would like it. tavis: where else do you start this conversation? five academy award winners. all the leads are oscar winners. >> it was amazing and a privilege to hang out with those guys. it was a tota
Nov 5, 2013 1:00am EST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. nenight a conversation with an lamott. her book deals frankly with how to find answers to life's most ethical westerns. she does so with insight and with humor. we are glad you have joined us. a conversation with the always wonderful anne lamott emmy up right now. -- coming up right now. ♪ >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: they are the big questions that confront all of us. how to find meaning in chaos, how to start over in the face of devastating loss. how to cope with suffering. lamott began writing "stitiches" following the newtown connecticut shootings. good to have you on this program. >> give me your state of mind after those shootings. stunned, i was speechless. i felt i did not understand how we would go on from there because what i teach my children , they are loved and chosen and safe. i would say who is wearing a black suit with a lewd tie with white stripes? ok, you are loved and chosen. you are safe. how can you tell children after -- that after 20 of their
Nov 30, 2013 12:00am PST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight, conversation with wendell pierce. he is currently costarring in the new nbc comedy series "the michael j. fox show" and is reprising his role as antoine batiste on the emmy-winning "tremÉ." he returns to hbo this sunday for his final five episodes. a conversation with wendell pierce coming up right now. ♪ ♪ >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: wendell pierce, a successful career means taking on a wide array -- wide array of diverse characters. he is on "the michael j. fox show." essedays a ratings-obs producer. he also plays in "tremÉ." it's final season on hbo. before we start our conversation, a look at a scene from "tremÉ." >> i love it when dan comes in on the vocals. they used to do that a lot in the old days. it always cracked me up. >> call and response? >> yeah, that's right. the guys in back go, we love all. ♪ ♪ [laughter] says: i said a moment ago, it ain't so, but as it turns out, this has been a pretty good run for a series that come if you looked at it on paper a few years ago, given the katrina evenue, it might not have gotten off the ground, let alone lasted this long. >> it is one of those things that you realize that come in a disaster, the greatest thing that you have is the will of the people. a lot of times, people saw katrina is just an event that dealt with not people's hearts but social issues and the politics of the time. the thing that we wanted to tap for was the culture, that one thing, the thing that was so clear, in spite of everything, the will of the people was going to be what brought it back. it was going to be brought back 12 at a time -- back in 12 at a time. people, as albert murray said in all of his great novels and books. that is what we wanted to do. to have the four years that we have had on hbo has been pretty wonderful. now we leave a cultural document that kind of marks this period of time to say, this is how we survived to this, and this is what is of value to us. that is the role of art, the forum where we reflect on who we are as a people, as a community and decide what our values are. that is why we try to leave his cultural document for the people of new orleans. tavis: what do you expect folks are going to read when they read his cultural document that is "tremÉ" down the road? corruption,pite of in spite of violence, crime, that there is something of greater value that you have to fight, with all of your spirit and effort, to maintain. a lot of people wanted to give up on new orleans, to let it go. they didn't see the value of it. how many times have we heard, why are you guys living on their? you would never say that about new york. unfortunately, you were to later, it was hit by sandy, and everybody realized -- nobody called into question whether we should bring back the jersey shore or new york city or staten island. this cultural document is saying that we are of value, that we have importance, and that what you bring together as a people, exercising the right of self- determination is the most important essence of surviving a disaster. tavis: i have been blessed to be a friend of yours for some years now. i have done a number of documentaries and specials about new orleans prior to katrina, since katrina. one of those documentaries, i spent some time with you. some wonderful folks were working on a project to bring back the neighborhood. i will let you tell the story. i'm curious as to what is happening with the part. >> it is like holding a tiger by its tail. we are thriving. we are back. the neighborhood that was post- world war ii the only place where african-americans, jim crow new orleans could purchase a home then, and then in the middle of it was a golf course designed by joseph bartholomew. he couldn't play on most courses in new orleans because he was a black man. mayberry, ablack blue care -- a blue-collar place to grow up. it became an incubator of black talent. morreale, mark morreale, the national urban league president, we all came from this neighborhood. lisa jackson. it was annika binder -- an incubator of talents. if it wasn't for us, we knew people would give up on it. moses generation that has done so much to make sure that we have this wonderful neighborhood, what sweet auburn is to atlanta, that is what potter train park was in new orleans. this generation work so hard to give us the opportunity to grow up with a great foundation. it is on us, the joshua generation, to bring it back. we reconstituted ourselves, put together our own corporation. we have a couple of dozen homes with solar and geothermal. we brought the neighborhood back. tavis: i want to ask you what a blessing it has been or how therapeutic -- you will fill in the blank -- to express your artistry in a series like "treÉe " that is based in your hometown. before i do that, every time i hear the story of joseph bartholomew when designing courses on which he could not play, as was the case in new orleans, i think of paul williams out in l.a. if you go to a paul williams home these days, you are all that. i was going to tell the story. i love it. it is a great story. for those who don't know the story of paul williams, whenever you fly into los angeles, that spider at the center of the airport, the revolving restaurant, he designed a spider. he designed some of the most beautiful homes in los angeles. he designed the polo lounge, the world-famous polo lounge, to beverly hills hotel. he designed it. i was going to tell the story about how paul williams, in meetings with white people, used to have to draw. >> first of all, there was a moment where they were considering, is he african- american? [laughter] is he a brother or not? while they would consider that, he always knew he had this very brief window to do his work. he would draw and design upside down so they would have the perspective before they could say, wait a minute, you were a black man. get out. as anld show his ability architect and designer before they even had any chance to kick them out. i think that is amazing. tavis: you are a bad man, sitting across the table with white folk, and drawn upside down to show them your brilliance. they didn't want to sit that close to him anyways. >> that just points to the resilience of the human spirit, that in the most difficult of times, we rise to a certain level of resilience and brilliance that we find in ourselves to fight those battles, those confrontations, that seemlenges insurmountable lead times. that is a legacy that was passed on to us from a generation that shed blood on the ballot box, that made sure we would have access to green space. because came about black folks could only use parks on wednesdays. it was a battle to make sure we had access to green space. that is how this neighborhood came up out -- came about. you can think of paul williams, joseph bartholomew, men and women who fought that battle. it would be a sin for me not to step up to the plate in new orleans darkest hour into say, we will not let our parent's generation down. just: you stepped up not as an advocate, but you stepped up as an artist, which takes me back to my question as to how out ofte you feel that this tragedy comes this kind of artistic expression called "tremÉ." i will get to "the michael j. fox show" in a moment. out of this tragedy comes as opportunity for you to express yourself in "tremÉ." how fortunate do you feel in that regard? >> it is one of the greatest blessings of my life. first of all, on a personal note, my mother passed away right before the final season. to know that i was home for the past four years to spend time ish her in her final years cherished time that i will forever be grateful for. - what "tremÉwhat - " is a true representation of the meaning of art. we have lost the sense of art as a society. when you lie awake at night and say, what kind of man am i, where have i gone, where do i hope to go, what are my strengths, what are my inadequacies, those reflections you have is a personal individual is reflected in the form of art for the community as a whole. that is why the greeks came together. even though they knew the stories at the beginning, they knew there was a moral lesson they had to learn over and over again to kind of declare their values. that is what the form of art is. what is important to us? where have we failed? where do we hope to go? where do we want to be as a society? that forum of art serves that purpose for the collective, for the whole. that is what "tremÉ" has done. on sunday nights, for the people of new orleans who have gone to that experience, to sit back and reflect on where they are going, what they have gone through, the tragedy that they have experienced, how they are going to get through it, and the best way to bring to a better place, a positive experience -- that is the role of art. you saw when woody guthrie sing about, this land is your land, this land is my land, and the great depression. ann ronald reagan saying, actor being able to tap into the communicative spirit of the community and lead them towards his agenda, you know? werel remember where we when we heard a pop sing, do you know what it means to miss new orleans, right back to the flood of katrina. that emotive form of art serves the community like those and thoughtsments that influence individual. that is what "tremÉ" has done for new orleans. at this time, this is who we are. this is how we were resilient and how we got through it. let this be a lesson for all of those who will come after us. this is our answer to that question, what did you do in new orleans' darkest hour? this is our response to neglect, corruption, violence. our response is the beauty of our music, the resilience of our spirit, the creativity of our cuisine, and that is the humanity in it. that is what i'm proudest of about "tremÉ." tavis: you said a number of things i want to go back and ask extrapolate for me, but there is one thing in particular that you said i want to go back to. i resonate with at for obvious reasons. you talked about lying in bed at night with these wanderings -- wonderings. thathat you wrestle with expresses itself ultimately in your artistic choices are your own inadequacies as a man, inadequacies as a black man. that hit me profoundly. any one of us who is being authentic, being honest with ourselves, no matter what color or gender we are, if we are being honest, wasn't socrates who said that the unexamined life is not worth living? if you are living a life worth living, you've got to examine yourself. you got to wrestle with those inadequacies. as to how a black man -- i wonder how you wrestle with it -- i have my own answer -- as one black man, how do you wrestle with those inadequacies in this world, in this business, and come up with answers that allow you to address those inadequacies in a way that allows you to pursue your craft? does that make sense? thingst of all, the one that i always come back to is, to thine own self be true. there will be choices i make in may turn people within my own community away. why did you do that? for instance, i have a movie out that i was nominated for, and independent spirit award. this man is living a clandestine life. he is gay. he has aseted, but family. people come up to me and say, why did you do that? i go out with this young kid i meet on the internet. he is a teenager. is ad, because that manlicted, awful, troubled who was destroying lives in his wake. we have to be aware of that. they are not some just outward monster. it happens everyday. there has to be that examination. it is a troubling and disturbing role. people say, why would he do that? i say, the role of the actor is not to entertain. it is a byproduct of acting. it is the examination of human humanor, even abhorrent behavior. we have to know about that so we won't fall victim to it ourselves. choices and deal with your own inadequacies is about trying to find truth and be as authentic as possible. the study of about human behavior. it is something that is going to be of value in that study of human behavior, or is it just sensationalized an arbitrary? i wouldn't have done that role if it were just arbitrary, if it were sensationalized, a pedophile. this was something that was on a slippery slope, you know, that some people may not even realize that they are actually a part of something important -- ab horrent. is barometer for me approaching roles like a psychologist. it is the closest thing to being an actor, trying to understand the psychological impact of why people behave a certain way, and the impact it has on others. when they come together in a particular journey of story, what enlightenment will that bring to all of us as we reflect on that? the only reason you go to the theater, tavis, and turned on the lights is to see some emulation of our own experience, to learn from it. for everyone in that room, to have some connection with it. it is not just the entertainment. the entertainment is the byproduct. greeks, back to the they knew the story going into it. he is going to kill his brother and sleep with his mother. what can we learn from this journey he is about to take that we don't want to forget that gives a foundation to our value system? with that approach, you have to say, as a black man, what is of value to me? what is of impact to the community that i want to change and be impactful towards? what is my contribution to this dynamic? that is the one thing i control. my contribution to a dysfunctional dynamic or paradigm is the one thing that i control. don't think i'm detached from the violence that some young men in our community are part of. what is going to be my contribution to that? how will i change that? how will i impact it and bring ofue to it instead contributing to the dysfunction of their lives? tavis: as always, when we have these conversations, the stuff you say opens up so many other doors i want to go into. i recognize that art is subjective. there is no necessarily right or wrong answer to the question i now want to ask based on what you just said. i recognize that every actor has to make his or her own choices. that,lked about the fact obviously, those of us who are your fans get a chance to critique your work once it is done, and that oftentimes put you in a situation where you have to explain your work, why you made certain choices. the question i want to ask is whether or not the audience itself, your fan base, ever factors into the decisions that you make on the front side. it is one thing to explain on the backside. do they impact decisions on the front side? i love harry lennox print i adore harry lennox. everybody loves the butler. it has made tons of money. some have called it "historical porn." i respect kerry's point of view on everything. you've got people celebrating on the one hand, but a great, saystted person like harry "it is historical porn." i'm try to get a sense of whether the audience or how the work might be this -- might be perceived on the front side. -- i willy time is that ar it as a variable multitude of people are going to see it. fox" andmichael j doing a one camera comedy, the total opposite of what i was doing before for the past 10 but one of the things was that it was broadcast television, that so many people are going to see me on "the michael j. fox show" than those who saw me on "the wire" or "tremÉ." i think the true barometer is the truth of the work and your greatesthip -- the relationship you're going to have is your relationship with the work. you must consider the fact that years from now you will be able to look back and look at a body of work, and you want to be able to look back at that with pride and say, those are great choices print i know what i did that. 80 people enjoy me and my appreciation of that -- maybe people enjoy me and my role. that happened with "the wire." i meet more people today that watch the -- that watch "the wire" than there were when we were on the air. i consider the audience and my families as friends who i would hope understand the choices that i make. i try to make them more authentically, and maybe they will come for the ride. tavis: how fun is it then to do a show like "the michael j. fox show" where you are playing his boss? you have done "the wire." it is a radical departure. >> i always wanted to be a journeyman actor. that is the reason i went to juilliard. i wanted to be able to do comedy and drama. classical and contemporary. i like to do film and theater. on thatmyself diversity, of being a journeyman actor. edwards, youmes know, roscoe lee brown, ossie davis, they did everything. those are the men that i saw as a young kid who was thinking about acting. if i become an actor, that is who i want to be. they did everything. james earl jones. i've seen them in a multitude of things. al freeman junior, really journeyman actors -- journeymen actors. i remember all the different plays that they have done. did the -- jones godfrey cambridge. i think of men like that. i kind of base my career on being the journeyman actor, as being as diverse as possible. to go from "the wire" to "tremÉ" "the michael j. fox show to -- to "the michael j. fox show," all while still producing -- we won a tony -- it is that diversity a pride myself on. tavis: how does comedy tester chops? >> comedy tests your chops, especially in children when you are doing comedy on stage, it's great. you have the audience to read they are like another actor in the scene. you feed off of them. quiet,, when everyone is it is all about timing. the key to that is to be authentic. once again, be in the moment. if you play the moment truthfully, the humor will be there. tavis: i've got 45 seconds. speaking of plain truthfully, everybody knows michael j fox's condition. how has that pictured -- factored into the storyline? >> just like his life. it doesn't take over his entire life. it is just a part of his life. as he says, everybody has their bag of hammers they have to deal with. that just happens to be his. he is still a family man. he is still a craftsman. that shows his entire life. we try to show the humor and fun in his whole life, not just that one aspect. -- i can'tell pierce say that on tv -- he never left. from "the wire" to "tremÉ" and to "the michael j. fox show," he plays michael j fox's boss on network television. happy to have you on this program. >> i'm honored. tavis: your conversations are so inspiring. that is our show for tonight. thanks for joining us. as always, keep the faith. >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at pbs.org. tavis: hi, i'm tavis smiley. join me next time for a conversation with chris bodie and booker t jones . that is next time. we will see you then. ♪ ♪ >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> be more. pbs. echoes of a lost valley is made possible by interwest is a retail independent insurance agency offering a full range of business and personal insurance products. we're very proud with our partnership with allied insurance, our alliance with public television, and thankful for the oppurtunity to serve our local communities. ♪ imagine a place where wildflowers carpet the earth. imagine a broad, broad, expanse of valley.... ....and having it full of elk and
Nov 7, 2013 12:00am PST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight a conversation with dennis haysbert. the documentary looks at the war .hrough documents and artifacts then we will turn to a conversation with scott adams "how to failalled at almost everything and still win big." dennis haysbert and scott adams coming up right now. ♪ >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: the next two years to commemorate the end of the civil war, the smoke finian -- the smithsonian is dedicating a including aat time, program called fight for freedom and hosted by actor dennis haysbert. take a look at the clip from the series. >> every ship had a list of all the goods and he was on the ship. this one is taking 83 people from virginia to natchez to be sold in the cotton and sugar plantation. documenting the people. it has people's names, their coloring, their age, where they are from. sometimes people were sold multiple times. i'm going to make an assumption. i doubt you have done any project where you learned more. i could be wrong. further.d go
Nov 28, 2013 12:00am PST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight a conversation with shemekia copeland. she describes herself as an old soul in a young body. her album remains a chart topper for 10 months. we are glad you joined us. ♪ >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. ♪ tavis: shemekia copeland comes by her blues credentials honestly. recordinge honor of back in 2000. her latest cd is called "33 1/ " ." before we close this program, she will be performing a song. good to have you on this program. >> thank you for having me. tavis: it's good to see you. i love the lyrics on this track. you think of certain blues singers. you think of women blues singers, and you think, that no good man did me wrong. he is living -- leaving me. i love that. there is a story. >> i am tired of songs about love. love for me. i want to talk about politics and religion and domestic violence. makes me sick contemporary because it is relevant to the times now. that's what i want to talk about. tavis: how do you do that without being preachy? how do you make it sound
Nov 8, 2013 12:00am PST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight, a conversation with actress nia long about a career that will stand the test of time. she is starring in a sequel called "the best man holiday." a group of friends reunite after years of being separated. we are glad you have joined us. coming up, right now. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: nia long was one of the reasons the best man was a huge hit in 1999. working years later, the sequel is finally here. it reunites all the actors from the first film. timehis sequel, the long- friends a strange for nearly 15 years come together for a long holiday weekend where they discover how easy it is for rivalries and romances to be reignited. ooh. take a look at the clip from "best man holiday." >> i have to do they'll on dinner tonight. lex i get it. you could have called or e- mailed. it you could have sent the text. >> the damnedest thing. and none of my devices were working so i figured i should deliver the messages myself. i changed my flight so i can come to you -- come with you. if it is important to you, it is important to me. >> do you want me to wait outside? >> don't worry about it, i have to go anyway. i will talk to you later. i will see you this weekend. >> i hope so. to ski in vermont with my devices. >> i hate you so much. >> was that you kissing a white man? >> it was not my first white man. i know, but just -- >> i like all flavors, tavis. tavis: we know one piece of the story line here. what is your character doing 15 years later? segment producer in the first film and now she is sort of running the network. she is doing her thing as a producer. taking her time, focused on her career. she put love and relationship on the side burner to be this amazing producer. she made it and is realizing through the story -- i don't went to give too much away, but she sees that she truly is recognizing that there is power in being vulnerable and finding love. finding a partner. career isn't everything. that is something a lot of women struggle with. tavis: was there something or some things that you needed to see to come back to this? i am just a hollywood fan. sometimes people do stuff a second or third or fourth time and i wish they would stop after the first time. what did you need to see in this script to make you want to come back and do it again? thing was that the entire cast supported the idea of doing a sequel. that was it for me. i don't think any of us would've really done it if we had not been part of it. all friends and we have grown our careers. terrence howard as a grandfather. life has changed. it was an interesting notion to see what would happen if you put these group of friends together 17 or 18 years later. think the story is going to be what anyone expects. we love you, white guys. love you, guys obviously. you are right about the fact that the characters lives have changed. are there parallels in terms of how the lives have changed over the years? vast distinctions were differences. thing is before i became a mom, it is all about my career. how many films can i do? how many places can i travel? how many planes can i get on and feel great? my priorities are a little different now. they are about creating balance that weme, making sure have the time to do the things that i want to do with my career and to continue to make movies. and also to think about the next phase, which is writing and producing and directing. more than ever, it is something that i am really passionate about. tavis: i want to get to the writing and producing and directing in just a second. the last time we saw each other talking over each other] in that anymore. that is their fault. tavis: you just broke news, i did not do that. >> here is the thing. they asked me to do one season and they will bring a couple characters every season. i was not signed on to be a permanent extra. tavis: i wanted to see you next season. >> i wanted to be there, too. was dying for them to write the next season. i saw don cheadle. don, you've got to bring tamara back. said, if i bring her back, i will have to kill her. tavis: i was hoping you were going to come back for another season. i hope they call you. hey, call her. doesn't stop me from asking the question i want to ask. over these 15 years since you did the first "best man come ," has your career gone in the way that you thought it would go? has yours gone the way you wanted it to be 14 years ago when you headed this direction. >> no one has ever asked me that question and i don't think i have thought about it in those terms. my commitment has been to do the things that move me. to understand there are political challenges, to understand that there are things that are so far out of my control. but then i can still aspire to get to where i want to be regardless of if they choose me or not. it took a long time to get to the place where that is a reality. we have to wait to be picked. let me jump in because i am with you now. how do you, or how have you gone about getting where you want to be without waiting to be chosen? the problem with this business, i can say this and you can't. black actors and actresses, they thet hold, in their head, names of more than two or three people at a time. if you are in the flow, you are in the flow, and if you are not, they will go to the next three. a variety of people can work a variety of roles. >> or until you start asking for the money you deserve. they can ask someone who is "like" whomever. tavis: how have you navigated this journey of getting to where you want to go without having to wait to be chosen? is what i do for work but when i close my doors, my life is my life. children are everything, i am smart with my money, i have a great partner and supporter. when they don't want me, somebody else does. i close my doors and i'm mommy. that is the greatest thing you can never be. i'm not afraid to say no. it's hard to say no. but i would rather make the adjustment so i can always say no if it is not right for me. there is a lot of security in that. i just take one moment at a time. honestly, i meditate, pray, and keep myself insulated. there is the inner circle. there is the outer circle. i feel like the rest just comes. you have to trust that whatever is for you is for you. tavis: you have to trust the process. you don't control most of it anyway. peace and there is tranquility when you come home and close the door that only your family and loved ones can bring. you are also an artist. those choices that you would like to be making don't come your way artistically, how do you go about expressing yourself? of pen andt of piece paper and some crayons and i draw. [laughter] listen. the truth of it is this. there are moments when i am frustrated and moments when i am disappointed. how come i did not know about that? , that is such say a great opportunity. but i am never angry because i just hernd i say it is turn. thing, the most amazing part of all of this is that i am still here. such a young age, i am only 25. i reinvented myself. [laughter] the many myself and characters and i look forward to this next phase of my career. tribe to come with me. i don't have any regrets. i have a few, but i don't have anything that made me feel like i blew it on that one. tavis: you don't have to get deeper than you want to get. nia does what she wants to. >> everyone knows that about me. tavis: we all have some regrets. we are not divine, we make mistakes and have regrets. when you have regrets, are they down?s about roles turned >> i played opposite jude law and i really thought more people would support that film and perhaps maybe that would be the film that would break the glass ceiling for me. it did not happen. me, it was like, i am only one of two black people in the film and you think that it takes that to break the glass ceiling. timing,e project, the the director. what you will and project onto that screen. when all of those things come in this perfect package, you know you have taken it to the next level. i am not sitting here going that i should have more than what i , or why am i not making millions of dollars. my past is my past. whenever i talk about heavy d, it makes you want to tear up. i miss him so much and one day , it is not a race, it is a marathon. and you will run forever. you will be in the race forever. i can't believe i am not tearing up right now. the day after i gave birth to my the same hospital, one floor down. everyone is in my hospital room. they are excited. i get the call that he passed away. he was such an important person in my life and still is. i think about him all the time. when he was nominated for his first grammy, i was a young actress on a soap opera and he said to me, will you be my date? we were best friends for that big chunk of life. he would always say to me, listen, it is not a race. it is a marathon and you will have everything you want. see moreike to diversity in the role. everybody has that feeling. i think it is part of a journey you take to not always have what you want. that you get it in stages. that and let me express my own frustration on your behalf and fans of years. that is a very mature and adult way. you are very charitable and generous. of one or two more beloved, adored, celebrated then you are inside of black america. chunk of the moviegoing public. there is a reason why even when you aren't starring in nothing, you're still on the covers of african-american magazines. black people love nia long. >> thank you, black people. tavis: i'm not saying why people don't, but in your own community, your beloved. there is a frustration that we don't get to see you more. you ought to be out there. not name names, but there are people less gifted, less talented, and we see more of them than we see you. i am glad you have a mature way of handling this but part of the frustration is that there is not a lot that we as ticket buyers can say or do about that except support what you are in. we vote with ticket stubs. managemente is anger about nia long. long soliloquy that leads to the question, how do you navigate seeing folk who are less talented? judgment every actor has to make. i know that there have got to be times where you're looking at somebody like, wow. "wow" a lot.d i have. but i don't think i've ever looked at anyone else's career and said, that should have been me. i'm sothink about -- proud of kerry washington with scandal. all of us were seen for that show. pregnant know i was until two weeks later. that would not have worked out well for me. it was her moment and she is doing an amazing job. me, did yousaid to audition for that? those are my fans that absolutely love me. to walk aroundnt being that angry black chick that is upset somebody else got a job. tavis: how do you go about making choices? "alfie." was instructive, informative, and insightful about the way you view your career. every actor wants to break through that ceiling. >> white actors, too. that: everybody wants moment that is going to take them to the next level. not that you're doing bad and you have been around a long time and are still working. navigate, daily, hoping and praying for that moment when by your own admission you are going to break through. >> that is an internal thing. i am not waiting for the world to validate that. i have grown as a woman, as a partner, as an artist. i don't feel like i am lacking in any way. i wishwhole and full and i had a different answer. but that is my honest answer. me -- ir part of it for don't really feel the need to rush through. the great thing about being an actor is you can be an actor for the rest of your life. i might not win my academy award until i am 70, but i am going to win. i am going to get there. i'm not going to worry about if it will ever happen, because it will. people met me when i was 16 years old. that is when i started in this business. i turn 43 in nine days. that is a long time. i have lived my life in front of the camera. the times you saw me step away was because there were things in my life that were more important. i never wanted to be this age and not have children. i never wanted to not have a family. it was always part of my plan. can have everything, but not at the same time. "best let's go back to man holiday." what is the joy of being reunited with an all-star cast of black folks in a movie that andull of fun and frolic e some insights as well. what is it like being on the set when all of that energy is coming at you? there were nights when we felt like we were college dorm buddies. the girls were constantly counting calories. constantly. what is in that chocolate chip cookie? the girls were constantly counting calories. the boys in the girls would have in-depth conversations about relationships and the differences between men and women. except everybody terrance is married. taye is married. morris and eddie and harris is married. none of the girls are married, which i find to be very interesting. i am probably the closest to marriage. and the a lot of debate biggest debate was, can a black man who is successful and famous actually handle a black woman who is equal to him? tavis: oh, my. >> they thought we were a bunch of loud mouth and complaining women but they are the same way about certain things. tavis: that is a movie in it of itself. i have to get out of here in two minutes. the writing, directing, how serious are you about that? >> i have the rights to my dear friend and wolf who was a professional boxer. it is a very long story on how we met, but the bottom line is that this is a coming-of-age in ordert a single mom to save her children had to learn how to box. it is her journey from the times she was 18. they have featured her on hbo and i saw the story. you're going to love this story, nia. i found her and called her and got the rights. tavis: you will star? >> i will direct. i don't want to be in a boxing ring. thank you. to just celebrate the beauty of these covers that our friends at ebony -- all the sisters from "best man holiday." there are the brothers. film.ill be a huge i think it will open big and you will take it from there. inill congratulate you advance on success of the film. >> i hope you come to the premiere. tavis: i will see you there. thanks for watching and as always, keep the faith. >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at pbs.org. tavis: hi, i'm tavis smiley. join me next time for a conversation with graham nash about his memoir "wild tales." that is next time, we will see you then. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> be more. pbs. >> be more. pbs. travel to california's announcermojave desertest"... where construction of the world's largest solar thermal farm is pitting renewable energy against threatened tortoises... then to ohio, to investigate the complexities surrounding the controversial practice of fracking... and in missouri, join up with college students as they compete to build state-of-the-art homes... man: one, two, three. go. announcer: ...powered entirely by the sun. "quest." america's energy future.
Nov 19, 2013 12:00am PST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight, a conversation with one of the countries most celebrated artists, nikki giovanni. she is a seven-time naacp image award winner. rosahe recipients of the parks kurt award. her latest collection of poetry and prose is called "chasing utopia: a hybrid." a conversation with nikki giovanni coming up right now. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: best-selling writer nikki giovanni is one of the countries most honored poets and commentators and educators. her eloquent voice comes through more than 30 books and she is a distinguished repressor at virginia tech. her latest collection of poetry and prose is called "chasing utopia: a hybrid." oneutopia here is not the envisioned by thomas moore. it is something entirely different. we will get to that later in the conversation. it is great to have you on the program. >> it is good to be here. thank you. tavis: let me start where anyone with good sense would start with you, by not asking a question but by asking you to read. i guess that is a question. will you read something from the book? >> i would love it. "i would like to see you cooking. i would like to see you cook for me. i would like to see you decide upon a menu, go to the market and pick the fruits, the vegetables, the fish. i would like it see you smell the fish and test the flesh or freshness and firmness. i would like to watch you in the bakery by the dinner rolls, deciding roles or crusty bread? i would like to be sitting in a corner, intent upon your meal not noticing me when you walk to the wine store. i would watch you wrestle with red or white. white, of course, because it is fish. red is seductive. whoever fell in love over a glass of white wine? i would like you to greet me only in an apron. you would ask me to undress and undress for you to read before i sit down at the beautiful table and before you hand me my class. i would like to watch you watch me undressing for you. i would like to watch the movement inside the apron as i undress for you. i would like to watch you walk, no, stroll to your closet, where you ring out your old buffalo plaid dressing gown. it smelled like you. after you brush your teeth, after you shower, after you comb your hair. i would like to embrace your odor, your odor, your essence, as we eat. i would like for you to cook for me. i would like that very much." tavis: that is called, by the apron."ill life with this book is filled with old food. tell me why that is. >> the book started because of chasing utopia, which is a beer. my mother was a beer drinker. she drank a beer every day of her life. we knew she was dying when she did not want a beer. i was mourning. to --sad and i was trying what does one do with sadness? we are all foodies. it started with the beer and realizing that -- i drink a beer every place i go for my mom. hotel, it into the went downstairs and the number one beer is a beer. you go to jamaica and the number one beer is red stripe. the number one beer in the world is utopia. so i thought, if i want to drink a beer for mommy, i want the number one beer. every place you go, you do something that reminds you. garyther and my sister and was a great cook. a lot of my good memories are about food. i just found a way for me to incorporate it. tavis: how does engaging in that activity allow you not just to remember your mother, but to connect with your mother? >> i think that we all do things that the people we love do. is cooking., it that would be my sister, my mother, and my grandmother. and repeating it because i am also, and i say this with no arrogance, but i am also willing to share mommy with the rest. a lot of people did not know her. this way, i can share my good feelings about my mother. and somebody else has a mother and they do things together. you can see those ads all the time where the father and grandfather go fishing and that makes everybody smile. well, we are black and we cook. [laughter] that is what we do. not know your mother, but we celebrate and we appreciate and we are grateful to your mother for, at the very least, giving us you, which was a significant contribution. i am just curious. write about your mama for a second, tell us what it is that you would like for us to know, that we would have loved about your mother. >> mommy was a dreamer. she was short. i have an on who is 5'4". tavis: i know you are not calling anyone short. did you just say your mother was short? that was funny for me. [laughter] ok, that is short. player, soa tennis she had a lot of upper body strength. , ining up, as she did segregation, she played tennis. person,she was the last but gibson was the first person to come out of that and go on to play. mommy was a mother by that time. there still are not many mothers in tennis. she also had a beautiful voice and she sang in the glee club. only two i were the people in the family who could not play the piano and pretty much for the same reason. ran mother taught everyone how to play the piano. i absolutely adored, had a bad habit of wanting to hit me. she hit the wrong no. -- note. i thought i was doing what she told me to do and i hit a wrong note and she hit my hand. i said, grandmother, if you are going to be abusive, i am not going to sit here. [laughter] well, i'llbusive, be darned. she got the best of it because i would love to know how to play the piano. what i love music and mommy loved music. there probably is not a jazz song between the 1920s and the 1970s that i do not know. have one of the same regrets. i took piano lessons as a kid and stayed with it for a while. one of my greatest regrets of my life that i stopped. i wish i could sit down and play whenever i wanted to. >> my father, and i have begun to deal with my father. i mentioned somebody else. i am so glad i did not try to write about my father when i was in my 20s. , speaking ofbusive abuse. i do not think that is what he intended to be. i think he and my mother understood each other. i always said that any man that i know, the reason that you do not hit your wife is not that your wife do not understand why you're doing it. says, don't you know why i hate you? of course, it is because of frustration. your wife understands it, but your daughter doesn't and your son repeats it. you make a judgment about what father is doing and it is bad judgment. whatever it was, i did not understand it. y, i triedourning momm to be in to access what it is my father was going through. it is interesting because i do not want to think -- i do not know that i have another book, that i will live long enough. but if i do, the book that i want to access is trying to understand what he went through and why i think he should have done something different, but also what we have to understand. i just made a terrible sense, didn't i? tavis: it was not so terrible that i did not understand it. it does raise the question, i suspect there is someone in the audience asking right now, but it sounds to me like you excuse him. what your father did. >> i do not think i excuse him. i am trying to understand it. life, that he my loved us. i also know he could not find a way to make that make sense. way, "chasing utopia" because i am a mama's girl and embracing the way i had. it was fun writing this book. you will laugh because the laughter is there. my grandmother's laughter is there. that myad imagined is grandmother, because her laughter was universal, what she did was she divided the laughter so that whenever we needed laughter, we could go. i thought, i am not just lopsided and i just read marcus samuelson's book. you want to deal with your life as you see it. there is this whole part of my life, as a writer, that i have not really -- i have dealt with what i can deal with. now i am ready, almost 70 years old, and i am old enough to deal with this other part and just to try to understand. i laugh about it because all mothers and grandmothers go to heaven. i know my mother had some pull with god. i am sure my sister made it to heaven. gus went to heaven. i have no question. in my ownhis daughter way, i want to go to heaven too. i want to sit down and talk to them. you said something a few minutes ago that i want to go back to. i am glad this is on television. i am glad we have this on tape. years from now, we will look back on this particular answer to this question. 70,there things now, at that you know? your father is one of them. are there things you know you could not have written about earlier in your career? as a poet, you can write about anything. there are some things, your father being one of them, that you have chosen not to, or at least knew you could not tackle at an earlier age. >> gus would be the main thing because i knew i was not looking at him as objective. you could look at my early work and say, you were not looking at white people objectively. notherhicks is a whole kettle of fish. you have to be on the dime in politics. you have to be now with politics. revision.ve a big i never had that question i got asked, do you think that barack obama, do you think that this was martin luther king's vision? no, martin was a leader and barack is a politician. i can be what i was because i never hated anybody. i was dealing with the situation. , i dealing with the family am a fan of the family and the family is a fan of you. , have had friends and students you can see that their parents are holding back. i do not want to say forget your mother or father, but you have to go beyond because you have experiences that are different. look at where we are right now. kids do not know albums. kids do not know record albums. kids do not know landline phones. there is a generation right behind us who will not know television because everything that they will see will be on their iphone. what you have to do is approach whatever it is you're dealing with as you understand and as you can make sense out of it. this is not psychology. writing is not a substitute for your analysts or something. writing is something that you can share that somebody can come back in 40 years -- i wrote my first book in 1968. tavis: what you said raises two questions. question number 1 -- since you ,rite in the here and the now based upon the understanding of -- that you have in the here and now, does that mean the stuff he wrote in the 1980s and the 1970s and the 1960s, that if you were critiquet, you might partially your own work question mark based -- your own work? based upon what you know now and you knew then? >> i have been very cautious about how i approach it erie it -- how i approach it. the reason i am who i am is somebody bought me and somebody sold me. you have to respond to that. coming from a literacy conference, a student of mine convenes in ghana. i was glad to go over and talk to that audience. i know that there are many different kinds of literacies. we are there because we want people to read. reading is a good idea. who cane are people read the clouds. there are people who can read the road. there are a lot of different literacies and we have to respect them. what i am fascinated by with slavery is not just slavery because slavery has been with us forever. it is that these people, who are going to become us, went from enslaved and captured in africa to an auction block in america and they remain the same. and that these people coming through middle passage actually took the voyage to mars. they took the voyage into outer space because they were in a place with no known landmarks at all. they had no way of knowing where they were or what was going to lie ahead. they knew it had to be hard. when they stepped out of the ship, nobody ever wonders, how does that happen? they found a way to accept a god, to build a family. some little boy had a peanut in his hand that he had brought all the way for the three or four weeks of that journey. i always inc. it was a girl. some girl had an ocher pie. they bought it and they planted it. they watched not only that thing grow, but us grow with it. i think the black american journey has just been an incredible journey and i am a space freak. i know that we have to get more black kids involved in science and going to space because space is not science. is emotional. once we can make that journey of these people can do that and we can do this, then we have made our contribution to the future. we continue to make our contribution. i think the most fascinating thing on earth is to be a black american. just look at what we have done. it is an incredible thing. to go to africa, i am not going because my ancestors were king and queen. mine were not. great greatat great yams ore pounding whatever they were doing. i do not have the fantasy of that life. that is why we opened with a love poem. tavis: your friend and mine, toni morrison, said to me in this -- on this program that black people have never bored me. it was a great line. i love that line. back to something you raised earlier in this conversation. looking at your work in retrospect, you made a joke when you say that there are some people might think you are not very objective about white folk. has the lens through which you look at white people, is it different than it was in the 1960s? >> i do reread. i think what i said is true, but that does not mean each and every. white andthemselves that is what is important to them. it is stupid. i have every right to consider it despicable and stupid. when we look at the other people who are dealing with i have a color in my skin like you have a color in your skin, then we get along. ,hen you look at the history you have to consider the history because it is a bad idea. necessarily fond of the fantasy. i do not have to fantasize where i was 1500 years ago. accept, youhave to know, this is where we are and this is what we want. what i want, and i got an opportunity to speak to nasa a couple of years ago, what i really wanted to say to them is that you have to put some old black women into space. [laughter] they keep sending young white men and young white women. i am not against that. if you want to know what space is, you need somebody my age. , i would into space take a vodka and a little bit of scotch for my because they are friends and i would want to toast them. we should go up. me, what if you do not come back? i said, i am not worried about me coming back. that is a dangerous road. why should i? of course, the rocketship is going to blow up or something is going to happen. the end of life is no more life. you cannot be afraid of that. since it will end, i cannot think of a better way than , this is theuston poet. i just are to say what i see until i cannot say it or cannot see it anymore. tavis: how did you get so comfortable? i say that knowing you as i know you, at least. comfortable being able to espouse what is, for some people, uncomfortable, inconvenient truth telling? i came up and the only thing that happens that did not just happen, i cry all the time. i did come up at an age that so many of my friends were in jail or killed. phillips said that the president would not pardon brown. just said things like that. , thought, if i am not dead then i should be alive. if i am alive, then i should tell the truth. i am of the 1960s generation. we do not know when the last day was going to be. i am just going to say, this is what i think and this is why i think it. anything of being worthy for all of the people who of gone before from malcolm x to rat brown, martin luther king jr.. to get the people who came to change this country. the least i can do, i am not a leader, i am just a poet. the least i can do is try to tell the truth. tavis: you are more than just a poet. poetry, foret, your years, has been pregnant with power. do you think poetry still has that capacity? >> oh my. i have been on tour with this and i just ran into the poet laureate of albuquerque, new mexico. he is a great kid, energetic, smart. i see it all the time. now i am everybody's grandmother and the kids give me their books and i get to hear them. i was at syracuse university for part of this. they had a 90-minute slam. i am just sitting there watching. we have the writers out there. they are not all going to be accessed at -- as successful. they will be ordinary, mid-level authors like me. they are bringing power and truth and they are bringing the joy of their work. i cannot imagine that we are not in g
Nov 11, 2013 7:00pm EST
could. i flew from london to los angeles to be with joni. at dinnerstephen were that night. they just finished reversing into part harmony. really, a great song. had my harmony down and i had my recognition of that body language, how they are breathing and moving. that made the thing that made us laugh so deeply. i had to leave the band that i started. i had to do some drastic thinking. it was big enough for me to move my entire life. tavis: it was big enough for you to move your entire life and you acknowledge that you did not have the courage to tell the band that graham nash was no longer part of the band. little guilty not having had the courage to tell them to their face. a lot of it was due to the fact that allen was my oldest friend and i love him dearly. we had come up singing the lord's prayer at assembly. it was difficult for me to tell them. i entered it kind of flippantly, but i wasn't going to be there too much longer. tavis: what did you learn about yourself or how to handle matters like that in the future? >> i can't procrastinate anymore. when i need to get something d
Nov 12, 2013 12:00am EST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. and, a conversation with edward james olmos and lisagay hamilton about their new movie "go for sisters," with independent director, john sayles, dealing with a mother's search for her son across california's border with mexico. we are glad you could join us for our conversation with edward james olmos and lisagay hamilton coming up right now. ♪ by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ films thatpendent deal with complex human interaction can often get lost in the push for big-budget movies around here, and one film that i hope does not get lost in the mix is from to time oscar nominated director, john sayles starring edward james olmos and lisagay hamilton about a mother's search for her son in tijuana. and we start with a clip from "go for sisters." >> so? >> i want him back, and if there is anyway, i do not want him to go to jail. juan.s you must still have friends on the local fours. >> no. that is a federal staying. the voice is on the tapes. taking money. you have to be careful who
Nov 20, 2013 12:00am PST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. today a conversation with lawrence roundly. he is about to make his broadway debut in mozart's "the magic flute." we are glad you joined us. an interview with lawrence brownlee coming up right now. ♪ >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. -- lawrence brownlee possesses one of those rare opera voices. he sings in one of those difficult high registers that you lose so many people. soughtne of the most after singers. he has a cd out that pays tribute to his gospel roots. he first started singing in church. the cd is called spiritual sketches. let's take a look at his performance at the metropolitan opera house in new york city. ♪ ♪ tavis: oh, my. you're sounding good, brother. you're sounding good. i don't get the chance to welcome often not only an amazing artist but one who also went to a great school. i get a chance to be in this moment for just a second with an indiana graduate and a fellow fraternity brother. this fraternity is all about achievement, and you have done that
Nov 14, 2013 12:00am EST
tavis: good evening evening from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight, a conversation with oliver stone. the writer and director of some of the most successful movies in recent memory. his recent film "jfk" was the in 1998.y released it is now in re release on blu- ray and in select movie theaters. we are glad you joined us for a conversation with oliver stone coming up right now. ♪ >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: oscar-winning writer, producer and director oliver stone has never shied away from controversy from his screenplay for "midnight express" which won him the first of his three boards. he tackles one of the most controversial stories in america. "jfk was quote has been re- released on blu-ray and in select theaters. realized kennedy was so dangerous to the establishment. is that why? >> that is a real question, isn't it? why? the how and the who is just scenery for the public. -- it keeps, cuba asking theng from most important question. why was kennedy killed? who benefited? who has the power to cover it up? tav
Nov 8, 2013 12:00am EST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight, a conversation with actress nia long about a career that will stand the test of time. she is starring in a sequel called "the best man holiday." a group of friends reunite after years of being separated. we are glad you have joined us. coming up, right now. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: nia long was one of the reasons the best man was a huge hit in 1999. working years later, the sequel is finally here. it reunites all the actors from the first film. timehis sequel, the long- friends a strange for nearly 15 years come together for a long holiday weekend where they discover how easy it is for rivalries and romances to be reignited. ooh. take a look at the clip from "best man holiday." >> i have to do they'll on dinner tonight. lex i get it. you could have called or e- mailed. it you could have sent the text. >> the damnedest thing. and none of my devices were working so i figured i should deliver the messages myself. i changed my flight so i can come to you -- com
Nov 16, 2013 12:00am PST
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. charlie parker. his life was one of the most turbulent. the new book is called "kansas city lightning, the life and times of charlie parker your co- were glad you could join us. with stanleyn crouch, coming up. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: just great charlie harker's reef but brilliant live comes to full focus in this important tome by cultural critic and jazz historian stanley crouch titled "kansas city lightning, the life and times of charlie parker." stanley crouch joins us now from new york. first, a look at the great charlie parker in concert, from 1951. >> they say music speaks louder than words. ♪ tavis: stanley, i'm glad to have you on. that missed our by asking why, given his huge impact, that so little has been written about charlie parker? >> a lot of what has been written is basically what they call urban legends these days. which means exaggerations and fraud. tavis: why exaggeration and fraud about charlie parker? see, he provides for the average reader